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Karilyn Bales, Robert Bales' Wife, Issues Statement On Afghanistan Shooting Incident

Posted: 03/21/2012 4:35 pm Updated: 03/22/2012 12:28 pm

Karilyn Bales Statement
This Friday, March 16, 2012, file photo, shows the home of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, is shown in Lake Tapps, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The wife of the U.S. soldier who is suspected of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan offered her condolences to the families of the victims.

In a statement released on Monday through a Seattle lawyer, Karilyn Bales said her family "and Bob’s extended families are all profoundly sad. We extend our condolences to all the people of the Panjawai District, our hearts go out to all of them, especially to the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the children who perished."

Bales said she had little information on what happened on the night of March 11 in Afghanistan. "What has been reported is completely out of character of the man I know and admire," she wrote. "Please respect me when I say I cannot shed any light on what happened that night, so please do not ask."

Karilyn Bales and her two children are currently staying on a military base in Washington State, ABC News reports.

Army staff sergeant Robert Bales is suspected of having crept away from his army base on March 11 and shooting 16 Afghan civilians -- including 9 children. 11 of the victims belonged to one family.

Robert Bales is being detained at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. According to CNN, his lawyer said the sergeant is likely to be charged with homicide on Thursday.

Read Karilyn Bales' full statement below.

Statement by Karilyn Bales — March 19, 2012

What happened on the night of March 11 in Kandahar Province was a terrible and heartbreaking tragedy.

My family including my and Bob's extended families are all profoundly sad. We extend our condolences to all the people of the Panjawai District, our hearts go out to all of them, especially to the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the children who perished.

I know that all good people around the world, regardless of nationality, religion or political values, join me in grieving that such a terrible thing could happen.

Our family has little information beyond what we read and see in the media. What has been reported is completely out of character of the man I know and admire. Please respect me when I say I cannot shed any light on what happened that night, so please do not ask.

I too want to know what happened. I want to know how this could be.

I have no indication that my family's own safety is at risk, but I appreciate the efforts that have been undertaken to protect us. I hope there will soon be no reason for protection of families, whether here or in Kandahar Province, or anywhere, because the pain inevitably inflicted in war should never be an excuse to inflict yet more pain. The cycle must be broken. We must find peace.

I know the media has a right to pursue and report news. As you do your jobs, I plead with you to respect the trauma that I and my extended family are experiencing. Please allow us some peace and time as we try to make sense of something that makes no sense at all.

All I can do now is emphasize my sadness and my condolences to the families in Panjawai for their terrible loss. The victims and their families are all in my prayers, as is my husband who I love very much.


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Filed by Eline Gordts  |