Los Angeles 10/20/2010 5:14:20 PM
News / Politics

US Soldier Held In Afghan Shooting Case

A US soldier is being detained for involvement in an alleged shooting of an Afghan prisoner who was discovered dead in his holding cell on Sunday in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province.

According to a statement released by the US military, the motives for the shooting are unclear, however the detainee who was shot was "a senior leader of the Taliban network in Arghandab," which is a district of Kandahar.

Officials, both coalition and Afghan, have said in interviews that the soldier in question had removed cell mates from the room before the shooting happened. Both the coalition and Afghan officials have launched investigations into the incident.

A NATO statement, released Monday says that the detainee was found dead after being arrested on Saturday night. An Afghan official has elaborated that "The detainee was shot after four or five other detainees were taken out of the holding cell. After the shot was heard, the soldiers went to the cell and found the dead body."

Taliban spokespeople said they had no information regarding the death of the inmate, whose name was Mullah Muhibullah.

This latest case comes just weeks after five US soldiers faced a trial in the US under allegations of shooting Afghans for fun while their company was deployed in Kandahar province. The US and coalition forces have been in clean-up mode since this incident came to light, after much ire over this episode as well as the mounting civilian death toll.