KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban is vowing revenge against the U.S. after an American soldier allegedly shot and killed 16 Afghan civilians in a Sunday rampage.
In a statement on their website, the militant group promised to "take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr."
They added "American savages" committed the "blood-soaked and inhumane crime."
"If the perpetrators of this massacre were in fact mentally ill then this testifies to yet another moral transgression by the American military because they are arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans without giving a second thought," the statement said.
Afghan officials reported nine of the 16 victims were children and three were women. They said some of the bodies were also found to be charred.
The veteran American army staff sergeant allegedly left his base in the Panjway district of Kandahar province and walked about a mile to a nearby village, where he went on a house-to-house rampage, methodically shooting Afghan civilians.
U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan stepped up security following the shootings out of concern about retaliatory attacks. The U.S. Embassy has also warned American citizens in Afghanistan about the possibility of reprisals. More