The wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales said Monday she finds the crimes of which her husband stands accused "unbelievable." Bales was formally charged Friday with the premeditated murder of 17 Afghan civilians, including 9 children and a pregnant woman, as well as other attempted murders and assaults.
"He loves children, he's like a big kid himself," Karilyn Bales, 38, told the NBC Today Show's Matt Lauer in an interview Monday. "I have no idea what happened, but he would not ... he loves children, and he would not do that."
Karilyn Bales, 38, the mother of Bales' two children, ages 3 and 4, from Lake Tapps, Washington, said her husband had not shown signs of PTSD after his three previous deployments to Iraq. She saw no signs he was having nightmares, for instance.
"He shielded me from a lot of what he went through," she said, according to the Associated Press. "He's a very tough guy."
Karilyn Bales' comments come as it emerged Monday that the 17th murder victim Bales is accused of killing was an unborn baby. "The Americans are right and one of the females was pregnant, which is why they are saying 17," Kandahar province police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq told the New York Times.
Pentagon investigators believe Bales set off twice from his base in Kandahar Province early on March 11, killing a dozen people in one village, before returning to his base and setting off for a second nearby village where he slaughtered another family asleep in their home.
Bales is accused of then attempting to burn the bodies of those he shot. But Mohammed Wazir, the patriarch of one family who lost 11 relatives in the attacks, said he later found signs that his 2-year-old daughter, Palwasha, had been burned alive. "I checked her body, and there were no bullet marks," Wazir told the Wall Street Journal Friday.
Separately, the NATO-led security force in Afghanistan said a man wearing an Afghan military uniform shot dead two NATO soldiers in Afghanistan's Helmand province Monday.
"The individual who opened fire was killed when coalition forces returned fire," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Monday, MSNBC reported. The two NATO soldiers killed were believed to be British.
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