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U.S. Soldier Who Massacred Afghans Says He Was 'Consumed By War'

A man stands alongside the graves of some of the 16 Afghan villagers who were killed in the March 2012 near Kandahar.

A U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan villagers says he had lost compassion for Afghans and Iraqis during his four combat deployments.

In an eight-page letter obtained by The News Tribune newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales asked a senior officer to reduce his life sentence, saying his mind became "consumed by war."

"I planted war and hate for the better part of 10 years and harvested violence," Bales, 41, wrote. "After being in prison two years, I understand that what I thought was normal was the farthest thing from being normal."

The officer who received the letter rejected Bales’ request to overturn the conviction or reduce his sentence.

A U.S. military court in 2013 sentenced Bales to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province in March 2012.

Based on reporting by, AP, and AFP