U.S soldier gets life sentence over Afghan massacre

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The United States soldier who murdered 16 Afghan villagers last year has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, BBC reports.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 40, opened fire on men, children and women during the attack in Kandahar on March 11, 2012.

The father of two pleaded guilty in June to avoid the death penalty.

He apologised during his sentencing hearing at a Washington state military base on Thursday, calling the attack an “act of cowardice.”

Sgt. Bales had been making a case for why he should one day be eligible for parole, which would have meant he could have been released in 20 years.

But on Friday the military jury of six ruled against him at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.

Sgt. Bales showed no emotion as the sentence was announced. His mother bowed her head, rocked in her seat and wept.

An interpreter gave a thumbs-up to Afghan villagers who were flown out by the U.S Army to give evidence at the trial.

But afterwards they were far from happy with the outcome.





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