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But after the shooting, Afghan lawmakers called for a halt to negotiations on a bilateral pact with the U.S. until the soldier behind the shooting faces trial in Afghanistan.

“This is the saddest thing that has happened in Afghanistan in the past 10 years, to kill children and then put blankets on them and burn them,” said Abdul Khaliq Balakarzai, a parliamentarian from Kandahar. “We are calling on the Afghan president not to sign the strategic partnership before the trial of this man. We don’t need these foreign troops here. They just create problems.”

Previously, lawmakers said they wanted the shooter tried in an Afghan court, but Mr. Balakarzai said Tuesday that they would be satisfied as long as the trial was held in Afghanistan and was public.

A group of parliamentarians earlier were planning to visit the site, but it was not clear if that trip was still on following the attack on the delegation.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, told CNN on Monday that the soldier did not leave his base undetected. An Afghan soldier saw him go and reported this to the Americans, who did a head count and realized that the suspect was missing. The Americans formed a search party, but Gen. Allen did not describe what happened after that.

Other U.S. officials have said initial reports indicate the soldier turned himself in after the shootings.

The soldier, who has been in the military for 11 years and served three tours in Iraq, was being held in pretrial confinement in Kandahar by the U.S. military while Army officials review his complete deployment and medical history, Pentagon officials said.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta said Monday that the soldier may face capital charges.

The soldier was deployed to Afghanistan on Dec. 3 with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord located south of Seattle, according to a congressional source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

He was sent on Feb. 1 to Belambai, the base located a half-mile from one of the villages that was attacked, the source said.

A U.S. military spokesman in Kabul said he was responsible for providing base security.

Associated Press writers Sebastian Abbot, Heidi Vogt and Deb Riechmann in Kabul and Pauline Jelinek and Bob Burns in Washington contributed to this report. Associated Press photographer Rahmat Gul contributed from Jalalabad.