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US - Mar 26, 2012 - 18:14

Last modified: 26 Mar 2012 15:14

According to the New York Times, military investigators suspect that Robert Bales, the US soldier charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in pre-dawn attacks against Afghan civilians in the southern province of Kandahar, may have committed the massacre in two separate instances on March 11.

An official speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Staff Sergeant left the base to carry out the initial attack, then sometime after having returned to the outpost, went into a second village for further attacks.

The official said Bales was detained upon return from his second time out of the base.