1. ITV Report

US army sergeant admits killing 16 Afghan civilians

A US army sergeant stood up in court today and admitted killing 16 Afghan civilians. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales pleaded guilty to avoid the death sentence.

Staff Sgt Robert Bales Credit: NBC

His family say he should never have been sent back to Afghanistan because of battle stress.But in the Afghan village where he went on the rampage, local people told ITV news he should hang.

Samiullah lost six members of his family in the attack Credit: ITV News

Robert Bales was charged following the attacks in March 2012. They took place on two villages in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Most of the victims were women and children, some of the bodies were burned.

Army prosecutors say Bales acted alone, with premeditation. He was armed with a rifle and a grenade launcher and left his post twice during the night to attack civilians. He is alleged to have returned to base in the middle of the rampage to tell a fellow soldier: "I just shot up some people."

Or Special Correspondent Rageh Omaar reports.