US Army prosecutors on Tuesday requested a death penalty court-martial for a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a predawn rampage, saying that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales committed "heinous and despicable crimes."
Bales had slipped away from his remote base to attack two villages early on March 11. Among the dead were nine children. The killings drew such angry protests that the US temporarily halted combat operations in Afghanistan, and it was three weeks before American investigators could reach the crime scenes. (AP)