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Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the Army soldier suspected of slaughtering Afghan villagers in a rampage, will face 17 charges of murder, a U.S. official said Thursday.The official confirmed that Sgt. Bales was expected to be formally charged Friday at the military detention center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he has been held for the past week.U.S. and Afghan officials have said that 16 men, women and children were killed in the March 11 incident, which took place in Panjway, in southern Kandahar province. U.S. officials didn't explain why the formal charges will contain 17 counts of murder.Sgt. Bales, 38 years old, also is expected to face related charges of military law violations in connection with the rampage, which followed a string of other actions by U.S. and coalition troops that offended Afghans and has further strained U.S. relations with the country.John Henry Browne, a lawyer for Mr. Bales, said he hasn't been formally notified of the charges or when they will be released. He said wasn't surprised by the allegations.Sgt. Bales, a veteran of four combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, is suspected of leaving a U.S. combat outpost to go on the early morning rampage, which claimed the lives of several women and children.Officials only confirmed Sgt. Bales' identity after he had left the country.In testimony Thursday, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S commander in Afghanistan, said such events were 'heart-wrenching,' but added: 'The relationship between the coalition and the Afghan security forces remains strong.'Sgt. Bales' case has cast a national spotlight on the debate over civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and added greater urgency to talks between the U.S. and Afghan governments about control of nighttime military missions and raids.The rampage also has stirred the discussion in the U.S. about the after-effects of war on military service members and their families. Sgt. Bales was treated for traumatic brain injury after a vehicle rollover in Iraq in 2010; media reports have also focused on the strains on families caused by multiple combat tours during the decade-long conflict.Sgt. Bales, from the Third Stryker Brigade of the Second Infantry Division, deployed to Afghanistan in December out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.一名美国官员周四说，涉嫌犯下屠杀阿富汗村民暴行的陆军上士贝尔斯(Robert Bales)将面临17宗谋杀指控。这位官员证实，贝尔斯料预计于周五在堪萨斯州莱文沃斯堡一处军事羁押中心被正式起诉。过去一个星期他一直被关押在该中心。Spc. Ryan Hallock/The High Desert Warrior美军上士贝尔斯（左）美国和阿富汗官员曾说，3月11日发生在坎大哈省南部潘杰瓦伊(Panjway)地区的屠杀事件中，有16名平民被害，其中包括男人、女人和儿童。美国官员没有解释为什么正式起诉会包括17宗谋杀罪名。预计38岁的贝尔斯还将面临与屠杀事件相关的军法指控。事件发生在美国和联军部队另外一系列冒犯阿富汗人的行为之后，进一步加剧了美国与阿富汗的紧张关系。贝尔斯的律师布朗(John Henry Browne)说，他未被正式告知这些指控的内容或这些指控将于何时公布。他表示这些指控没有让他感到吃惊。贝尔斯是一名老兵，曾被派往伊拉克三次，被派往阿富汗一次。他涉嫌离开美军一个战斗前哨，并在当天凌晨实施暴行，夺去了多名妇孺的性命。官方直到贝尔斯离开阿富汗之后才证实他的身份。美军驻阿富汗最高指挥官、海军陆战队上将艾伦(John Allen)周四作证时说，这类事件让人心痛，但他说，联军与阿富汗安全部队的关系依然牢固。贝尔斯的案件使有关阿富汗平民伤亡问题的讨论吸引了全国关注，并使美国、阿富汗政府关于夜间军事任务和突袭行动控制权的谈判变得更加紧迫。屠杀事件还在美国激起有关战争对军人及军属影响的讨论。贝尔斯曾因2010年在伊拉克翻车导致脑部创伤并接受治疗，媒体报道也曾关注10年冲突期间多次派遣对军属造成的压力。贝尔斯隶属于美国陆军第二步兵师第三装甲旅，于去年12月从华盛顿州刘易斯-麦科德联合基地(Joint Base Lewis-McChord)进驻阿富汗。
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