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  1. ITV Report

America names Afghan killing suspect

Sgt Robert Bales is suspected of shooting 16 Afghans civilians last week Photo: ITV News

The soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers has arrived at a US military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Army officials said in a statement that Staff Sgt Robert Bales arrived last night at the prison in northeast Kansas.

He was placed in his own cell at the prison adjacent to the US Disciplinary Barracks.

Sgt Bales is a 38 year old army veteran who was in his fourth tour in a war zone.

He arrived in Afghanistan in December and was assigned on February 1st to work with a force that pairs troops with villagers to help provide neighborhood security.

He is accused of going on a shooting rampage near his southern Afghanistan base early Sunday, killing nine children and seven other civilians, then burning some bodies.

US military commanders in Afghanistan have been quick to condemn the killings and said those responsible will be punished.

The investigation into the shootings has been criticised by Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

In a meeting with families of the 16 Afghans killed, Karzai said he isat the "end of the rope", after a delegation he sent to investigatethe deaths did not receive the co-operation expected.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met family members of civilians who were killed by a US soldier Credit: ITV News

John Henry Browne, a prominent Seattle defence attorney defending the Sgt Bales says the man's family is in shock.

Mr Browne says Sgt Bales may not be charged by US authorities for weeks.