The Afghan Taliban threatened on Tuesday to behead US soldiers in revenge for a shooting spree by a lone American soldier in volatile Kandahar province in which 16 Afghan civilians died. In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said:
The Islamic Emirate once again warns the American animals that the mujahideen will avenge them, and with the help of Allah will kill and behead your sadistic murderous soldiers.
The international military strategy in Afghanistan must not be derailed by the massacre of civilians by a US solider, leaders said.
With popular support for the war in Afghanistan fading, President Obama will be hoping for a quiet close to combat operations in 2014.
At least 16 civilians, including nine children, have been killed in an apparent shooting spree by an American soldier in Afghanistan.