The soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, most of them children, and burning their bodies was trained as a sniper and recently suffered a head injury in Iraq, US officials have said. The name of the suspect, a married, 38-year-old father of two, has not been released.
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.