Soldier Accused Of Massacre ‘Just Snapped,’ Official Says

We’re learning more about the U.S. Army staff sergeant accused in Sunday’s massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including women and children:

— “When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues — he just snapped,” a “senior American official” tells The New York Times.

— The 38-year-old soldier’s Seattle-based defense attorney “says the possibility that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by injuries and multiple combat deployments will be foremost among the issues his team will explore,” The Seattle Times writes.

— Attorney John Henry Browne, who has spoken to his client by telephone, also said the soldier (who has not been identified) had a day before seen a friend get a leg blown off near their base in southern Afghanistan, NPR’s Martin Kaste tells our Newscast Desk.

— And Browne said the soldier was unhappy about being deployed to a combat zone for the fourth time.

The soldier was moved from Afghanistan to Kuwait earlier this week — a decision that has angered Afghan officials. According to the Times, he may be moved again — to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas — as soon as today.

In other news from Afghanistan:

— “A Turkish military helicopter crashed into a house near the Afghan capital Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and two girls on the ground, Turkish and Afghan officials said. … There was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash, NATO said.” (The Associated Press)

— The massacre and recent burnings of some Qurans by U.S. military personnel in what American officials say was a mistake as they disposed of some materials, have stalled talks with the Taliban, as NPR’s Michele Kelemen reported on Morning Edition.

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