Obama: Afghan shooting is 'heartbreaking'

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is calling the alleged slaying of 16 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier "absolutely tragic and heartbreaking" and that he is still "proud generally" of what U.S. troops have achieved in Afghanistan while working under "enormous strain."

But he says it is important to make sure the U.S. is not in Afghanistan any longer than it needs to be.

The U.S. and its NATO allies say the weekend shooting does not change plans to turn over security operations to Afghan troops by the end of 2014.

A U.S. staff sergeant is accused of wandering off his base to two nearby villages and shooting them in the middle of the night.

Obama made his remarks Monday in an interview with Denver television station KCNC.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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