US soldier executes 16 Afghans, officials say

Dead include 9 children; renewed violent backlash is feared

PANJWAI, Afghanistan - Stalking from home to home, a US Army sergeant methodically killed at least 16 civilians, nine of them children, in a rural section of southern Afghanistan early Sunday, Afghan and US officials said, igniting fears of a new wave of anti-American hostility.

Residents of three villages in the Panjwai District of Kandahar Province described a terrifying string of attacks in which the soldier, who had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, breaking in to kill within three houses.

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