The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a US soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said on Sunday. The families of the dead received the money on Saturday at the governor's office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. Each wounded person received $11,000, Lalai said. Community elder Jan Agha confirmed the same figures.
They were told that the money came from United States president Barack Obama, Lalai said. A US official confirmed that compensation had been paid but declined to discuss exact amounts, saying only that it reflected the devastating nature of the incident. A spokesman for Nato and US forces declined to confirm or deny the payments.
"As the settlement of claims is a sensitive topic for those who have suffered loss, it is usually a matter of agreement that the terms of the settlement remain confidential," Lt Col Jimmie Cummings said. The families had previously received smaller compensation from Afghan officials - $2,000 for each death and $1,000 for each person wounded. Families of the dead declined comment but some said they were less concerned with monetary payments than with seeing the perpetrator punished.