U.S. investigating whether alcohol played a role the Afghanistan shooting rampage

The U.S. military was investigating whether alcohol may have played a role in the shooting rampage that occurred in Afghanistan Sunday, when an Army staff sergeant allegedly shot and killed 16 Afghan civilians, CNN reported Tuesday.

"It is not clear yet if the alcohol belonged to the soldier and a toxic screening was conducted but the results have not been returned," CNN said, citing a U.S. military official.

A "probable cause" finding has been issued permitting the continued detention of the alleged chief suspect in the case, the CNN report said, citing an official with the NATO-led security force in Afghanistan.

Eleven of the 16 men, women and children killed in the rampage Sunday belonged to the family of Abdul Samad, and eight of them were his children under the age of 12, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

"When Mr. Samad, 60, walked into his mud-walled dwelling here on Sunday morning and found 11 of his relatives sprawled in all directions, shot in the head, stabbed and burned, he learned the culprit was not a Taliban insurgent" but "a 38-year-old United States staff sergeant who had slipped out of the base to kill," the New York Times wrote.

"I don't know why they killed them," Samad told the paper, which said he "struggled in an interview to come to terms with the loss of his wife, four daughters between the ages of 2 and 6, four sons between 8 and 12, and two other relatives."

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