Seattle: The US soldier suspected of gunning
down at least 16 Afghan civilians was from a Washington state-based Stryker brigade and received his assignment to a
village stability program less than six weeks ago, a congressional source said Tuesday.
The staff sergeant deployed to Afghanistan on December 3 with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord located south of Seattle, the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The soldier`s name has not been released. But the source
says he was attached Feb. 1 to the village stability program
in Belambai, one kilometer from one of the villages where the
attack took place. The soldier is now in pretrial confinement
as Army officials review his complete deployment and medical
The village stability operations are part of NATO`s
efforts to transition out of Afghanistan. They pair special
operations troops with local villagers chosen by village
elders to become essentially a sanctioned, armed neighborhood
The soldier had previously deployed to Iraq. This was his
first deployment to Afghanistan, officials have told the AP.
The 3rd Stryker Brigade has deployed three times to Iraq since
2003 and sent 2,500 soldiers to Afghanistan for the first time
The soldier is not from the same brigade as four service
members based at Lewis-McChord who were convicted in the
deliberate killing of three Afghan civilians during patrols in
2010. Those soldiers were from the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, which has since been renamed the 2nd Stryker brigade.