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Obama calls Afghan killings tragic, troops to stay

Monday - 3/12/2012, 5:41pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the massacre of Afghan civilians, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier, won't change U.S. strategy or plans for keeping troops in Afghanistan.

Obama tells an Orlando, Fla., television station that the deaths early Sunday were tragic. In the interview with WFTV on Monday, Obama says the killings underscore the importance of holding to the plan to hand over security to the Afghans and bring forces home on time.

He echoed several administration officials in saying the killings won't speed up plans to draw down U.S. forces over the next two years.

Obama says the incident isn't comparable to the infamous My Lai (mee ly) massacre in Vietnam, in which several U.S. troops killed villagers.

Obama says the initial investigation indicates a lone gunman.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)