Army investigates Afghan massacre site

WASHINGTON — More than three weeks after the massacre of 17 civilians in Afghanistan, U.S. military investigators finally have gotten their first look at the villages where Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of carrying out the shooting rampage.

Army criminal investigators visited the villages early this week to collect forensic evidence, two senior defense officials said Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of prohibitions against talking about the ongoing investigation into the March 11 killings.

Investigators stayed away from the shooting sites for more than three weeks to avoid aggravating tensions with angry villagers.

It wasn't known how much or what kind of evidence they were able to find so long after the shootings.

Bales has been charged with 17 counts of murder and is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

U.S. casualties from Ohio: Three U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide attack this week in Afghanistan were from Ohio, as were several others seriously wounded in the bombing, the Ohio National Guard said Thursday. The Department of Defense identified the Ohio victims as Sgt. 1st Class Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City; Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin; and Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey J. Rieck of Columbus. .

More attacks: Gunmen attacked an outpost of a government-sponsored militia and killed 10 members of the security force in western Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.

Army investigates Afghan massacre site 04/05/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:21am]

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