U.S. Soldier Murders 16 Afghan Civilians in the Dead of Night


I can't believe it's possible to say this with a straight face, but the situation in Afghanistan, which the U.S. has been occupying for more than a decade, just got worse: 

A U.S. soldier shot to death 16 Afghan civilians in their homes before returning to his base and being taken into custody, Afghan and NATO officials said.

The shooting spree yesterday threatens to reignite anti- American protests weeks after a Koran-burning incident triggered violence. Women and children were among those killed in the attacks in the southern province of Kandahar, which has been a stronghold for the Taliban.

The soldier went to three houses in the villages of Najib Yan and Alokozai in Kandahar's Panjwayi district and opened fire, according to villagers who spoke to Bloomberg News by telephone.

"The soldier killed four of my family members including my wife, sisters and a baby nephew," Habibullah Khan said by telephone. "I was out of the district in the city of Kandahar, but when I came back I saw blood and all four people had been killed in their beds."

The attacker brought 11 of the dead into one home and set the bodies on fire, according to Mohammed, a tribal elder in the district who asked that his last name not be used. The Associated Press and Reuters also reported that bodies had been set alight. AP and the BBC said the soldier was a staff sergeant.

The soldier is 38 years old and is married with two children, ABC News said, citing a U.S. official it didn't name. The soldier was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan after three tours in Iraq, according to the report on ABC's website.

Read more at Bloomberg

NEXT: How Andrew Breitbart Changed the News

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. United States Virgin Islands Republican caucuses, 2012
    Candidate Votes Percentage Unbound Delegates Delegates
    Ron Paul 112[3] 29.2% 1 1
    Mitt Romney 101 26.3% 6 7
    Rick Santorum 23 6.0% 0 0
    Newt Gingrich 18 4.7% 0 0
    Uncommitted 130 33.9% 2 1
    Unprojected delegates:[4] 0 0
    Total: 384 100% 9 9

  2. Mohammed, a tribal elder in the district who asked that his last name not be used.

    1. Feck this punk assed bastid. Let some Afghans come to the US and do in HIS family. Turn about and all, eh wot? Drink! Arse! Girls!

  3. Turn the soldier over to the Afghan authorities and then let’s get the hell out of that place.

    1. I can’t see that happening. The U.S. has taken the consistent position for decades that U.S. military members are subject to the UCMJ and they will not be released to local authorities. I think there may have been some non-wartime incidents (such as rape or thefts) that have been tried in local courts, but during wartime, the U.S. has as far as I know never allowed local authorities to try its service members.

      1. It depends on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that we have with any particular country (there isn’t one for Afghanistan, so he will be subject to UCMJ).

        1. So I assume places like South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Germany have agreements of this sort?

          1. Yes, definitely. Otherwise our troops would be subject to local laws, which is a non-starter. I was stationed in S Korea a few years ago, we definitely had a SOFA.

            1. And which crimes are punished by UCMJ and local law varies under the SOFA in each country. In some countries, we cede prosecutorial authority for certain crimes to the locals, in other countries we cede no authority in the SOFA. Just depends on what they’ve negotiated when they draft the agreement.

              1. UCrawford thanks for the additional info, I wrongly assumed it was a blanket agreement.

            2. Subject to local laws? Held accountable for their actions?

              Imagine that?

          2. Korea and Japan do. If you commit some crimes in those countries, you fall under their judicial system and do time in their prisons if convicted (at least when I was stationed there). That won’t happen in Afghanistan, though…we don’t have that kind of agreement with them,

            1. yea, i recall there was a case of a US military member being charged and tried for rape there, not too long ago

            2. This. The cases that generate a lot of hot air are often rape cases, so you can check the Googler for several of those in countries with US bases.

              That said, the US military also has the ability to follow through with such cases if charges are dropped (and maybe if they aren’t? I can’t remember the relationship between foreign law and court martials regarding double jeopardy.).

              1. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know the particulars on double jeopardy either. I’m assuming it doesn’t apply in most cases because the rules of the judicial systems are so different. If there’s a lawyer on this thread who knows different, please feel free to correct me…I’d be curious how it actually works.

              2. And the U.S. government has the authority to punish activities that would be illegal in the United States that are carried out on foreign soil. There was a Bush-era “sex tourist” law that basically extended that enforcement ability to civilians as well as military.

      2. You’re right. I change my mind. In a civilized society even the worst pieces of filth are offered a trial. Hopefully, they’ll find him guilty and he’ll be thrown into a cell for life. Then we should get the hell out. But unless the convention is brokered and we get a Ron Paul for president, that won’t be happening. One more reason we’re all so screwed.

        1. a trialThen we should get the hell out.

          Why do you want us to stay another 10 years?

          1. You’re right. We should have the trial on the first plane of soldiers leaving.

            1. I really hope that the US Marines are not allowed to walk out like they did after many attrocities like this in Iraq, so lets hope they dont leave without paying for their crimes!

              1. like they did after many attrocities like this in Iraq

                This is the internet. You can link to support for your assertions of fact, you know.

                1. Why, Dean? Fucktarded Limeys, frothing rabidly at their mouths with their detestation of all things American, have never been required to do anything so ludicrous as “support their assertions”.

      1. I’m not what this is for.

  4. The attacker brought 11 of the dead into one home and set the bodies on fire

    Please tell me he didn’t burn any Korans, too.

    1. If he actually did this (move the bodies and then burn them) it’s hard to decide whether he’s simply so fucking crazy that an orgy of violence was just inevitable or whether he intentionally tried to do the most inflammatory thing possible in order to ignite a conflagration that will result in either total war or complete withdrawal.

      1. Sorry for the unintentional (I swear!) fire puns.

      2. It honestly sounds like the guy had a psychotic break. What I’d like to know is how the hell a soldier wanders off a base at 3AM by himself. The gate guards didn’t see him? Nobody stopped him to ask any questions? What kind of post was that commander running? Where was his accountability for his personnel?

        That guy will likely do time for his actions, since he acted alone and it was basically a spree killing. The post commander and the soldier’s company commander, if they’re smart, will have their careers ended. I doubt they ordered this soldier to do any of this, but nobody snaps like that out of nowhere and apparently base security procedures were extremely lacking, so his command was clearly incompetent.

        1. Perhaps the murderer was base security. I know that I was issued a weapon only when going into combat.

        2. My FOB was guarded by Afghan contractors and the Afghan National Police. I could have walked out any time I wanted to, and they would have never said a word. Hell, even if they did, I would have never understood them without my interpreter. We carried our own weapons and ammo 24×7 as well.

          1. (cont’d)
            In sum, it would have been damn easy for me to do the lone wolf thing, and my superiors would have been none the wiser. My only question is the motive, which I suppose will be unveiled shortly…

          2. Yeah, I get the impression this was a smaller base and we had our weapons with us 24/7 as well, even at Bagram (although we weren’t allowed to be locked and loaded on base).

            I’m sure we’ll be hearing the details of how he got off base soon. As for motive, sounds like a spree killing…people who do that have some serious mental issues and I wouldn’t be surprised if, when they dig into this guy’s history, they find some serious red flags that people just ignored.

      3. He probably had assassination of Franz Ferdinand aspirations…

      4. This is the type of US citizen your media, your government and your fringe christian lunatic religion wanted, why you surprised? look at the way you fundamentalist facists deal with indigenous americans on their own continent you fuckers share the same DNA as hitler so we shouldnt be surprised!

        1. Get the fuck out, Limey.

        2. lol. nice. kind of galloway’esque without the , yknow, eloquence and shit

        3. Is “Facist” just another word for shallow? And is this Rather’s new alt?

  5. Raze everything to the ground. Salt the earth. Bug out.

    1. Nuke the entire site from orbit–it’s the only way to be sure

      1. After we pull out — all except for this fecking azzhat.

  6. Some of the headlines I saw earlier in the day (particularly on Reuters and AP) were like “Western Forces Rampage; 16 Civilian Deaths” and “At least one, maybe more, U.S. soldiers execute civilians in Afghanistan.”

    You can imagine what the rest of the headlines read like in other languages. This is bad bad bad.

  7. Sounds like the dude went postal. Too early to really say though. These breaking news stories always seem to go through a lot of major revisions over the first few days.

    1. lots of conflicting accounts of what happened, too.

  8. I thought the whole point of this war was to kill muslims

    1. Try harder.

      1. 16’s not enough?

        1. Yeh and two planes werent enough either! slave keeping facist immigrants to that country, hope the mexicans take a book out of islam and fuck you over!

          1. Good morning Danny

            my slave wishes you a good morning too but he can’t type because I haven’t untied him from the bedpost yet

            1. FCS Danny, now he wants to play Mexican illegal and fuck me over a book…I’d mention which one but ya know people go jihad over things

              …I need to find my Burkha and matching fuck-me pumps

          2. Twice is not a typo. Go back to school until you at least learn to spell “Fascist,” you illiterate fuck.

  9. If that’s what actually happened, I don’t see life in jail as an appropriate punishment. Sand-strewn barbarians they may be, but they’re people, and 16 counts of capital murder is a bad thing, to be sure. He should be executed if found guilty, preferably by hanging or firing squad.

    1. The death penalty would be an option at trial (though the method would be lethal injection).

      1. I know, and that was my primary grievance — the method of execution. Hanging, shooting, and electrocution are preferable to lethal injection by any applicable measure, but we’ve seen a universal switch to the latter. Well, I’ll take ANY method, as long as the son of a bitch dies for his crimes.

        1. Hanging, shooting, and electrocution are preferable to lethal injection

          Why do you think so?

          1. Is it because there’s reason to believe that lethal injection can actually be excruciating, and that only the paralytics prevent it from being visibly so?

            Or is lethal injection not nasty enough?

            1. Drop ’em in a live volcano. Terminal velocity + instant incineration = quick death.

            2. You’re acting like I made a statement… What I said is:

              “Why do you think so?”

              1. But if I remember correctly you had trouble with the threaded comments so who knows…

        2. again, i have to agree with RPA.

          1. Dear officer Joseph, why did you pull down your facebook page?

            1. You’re a POS whoever you are

            2. who the fuck is officer joseph and why do we care? is this about some fuckhead murderer (ok, alleged) in afghanistan or some funky-ass weird obsession you have with some officer named joe?

      2. Death penalty is irrelevant in the military…it’s basically impossible to execute a soldier on military death row due to how they run the appeals process, so a death sentence is basically the same as life imprisonment. They haven’t executed a military death row prisoner since the 1960s.

        1. Is a matter of technicalities, or do they just bureaucracy themselves out of ever actually executing convicted personnel?

          1. It’s a procedural thing. Basically, once a soldier gets the death penalty, in order for that penalty to be carried out the President has to affirm it. Once that sentence gets affirmed, there’s another series of appeals that goes on. In most cases, the President doesn’t even bother to affirm the sentence…what would be the point? They just let the convicts rot on death row until they eventually die. Bush affirmed the death sentence for Ronald Gray (spree killing and serial rape) who was convicted back in the early ’80s and apparently he’s nowhere close to being executed. I don’t think they’ve even started his appeals.

        2. But there was a pretty good “Tales from the Crypt” episode about it, so there’s that…

    2. What are you, some kinda barbarian? I think and apology and a ten thousand dollar fine will suffice.

      1. And that’s one thing I really fucking don’t want to see. We get it enough with domestic law enforcement already — preferential treatment for military personnel must be kept out.

        And I’m really hoping the military doesn’t chickenshit on this. So if it’s proven that the man intentionally murdered 16 people, that this story is true, he should be executed for it, period.

        1. Murder is intentional by definition, stupid.

          1. Not legally, asshole.

            1. How come you’re so mad? Someone shoot up your family?

              1. there is a difference between manslaughter and homicide ‘lawyist’. while both are considered ‘murder’ in the eyes of the state, the difference between the two is indeed intent, as Res has schooled you on.

                funny, with a screen name like that, you would think you would know just a tad bit more about the law. but now that you have been informed, maybe you should stfu troll

              2. Not yet, Lawyist. But soon.

            2. RPA is correct

          2. no, it’s not necesasrily intentional BY DEFINITION.

            e.g. felony murder, where you commit a felony and somebody is killed in the process. like you are a getaway driver and a robber you are driving for shoots and kills somebody

            that makes you guilty of murder but it wasn’t intentional on your part. you don’t even have to know it happened.

            furthermore, it doesn’t even have to be intentional on the part of the shooter. even if it was a “trigger slip” during the commission of the robbery, it doesn’t matter.

        2. ah yes, the canard about domestic law enforcement again. never fails. no amount of data to the contrary will ever suffice.

          but i can agree with the fact that assuming he did it, it should be a death penalty offense. hands down. full stop

          1. Your buddies in blue get 3 years for mowing people down in their cruisers while drunk. Average sentence for us serfs is 10-20 years, Officer Joseph.

              1. yawn. average sentence for DUI homicide involves a repeat offender.

                average sentence for DUI homicide by officer is likely a first offense

                iow, yet again some reasonoid nimrod compares COMPLTELY disanalogous situations in attempt to make some point that is prima facie invalid


                  if you actually have evidence that officers charged with DUI that results in death are given disparately light sentences WHEN prior criminal records (most spcifically as regards DUI, but also … in general) are taken into account THAT would be relevant as to some point you are trying to make


                  1. Of course, this assumes that a cop who engages in criminal activity will accumulate a criminal record equivalent to that of a citizen.

                    Which is exactly the point at issue.

                    1. no “exactly the point” is that the CJ justice system treats (and should) treat first offenders differently.

                      you can wank all you want about what you are wanking about, with the obvious inference is that cops routinely drunk drive and get away with it (not ime. heck, i work with several who have DUI convictions. at least as far as WSP is concerned, it’s open knowledge they will not give ANYBODY a break for DUI).

                      the issue is this: people with priors get harsher sentences

                      anytime some specious comparison about penalties is made, without taking into account priors, it’s a bogus comparison

                      i’ve already provided examples where in some cases cops get harsher sentences for the same cirme, than others with similar priors.

                      if there is proof that cops get weaker sentences for DUI homicide than others WHEN CONSIDERING priors, then it should be presented. in brief, i doubt it.

                    2. i’ve already provided examples where in some cases cops get harsher sentences for the same cirme, than others with similar priors.

                      Liar. One example, and it was just 20% longer for pushing his girlfriend out of a window. As opposed to the dozens of examples of cops getting lighter sentences or off entirely that we post here every week.

    3. Since America is the policeman of the world, shouldn’t he be afforded the customary paid leave and an investigation that warrants his action as correctly following procedure.

      1. Don’t worry — we’ve already got the NYPD to do THAT, so it’s covered.

        1. Eventually, the NYPD rulebook will be the nationwide standard… if it hasn’t been so already.

          Thanks a lot, Democrats.

          1. Oh, we’re welcome.

            1. We have The Shit List ready, but Obama won’t give the order to execute it…

    4. Only if you agree that the U.S. government should ever be in the business of executing anyone.

      1. Military personnel.

        1. That’s a possibility, Mo.

    5. Yes. He must die for this.

    6. Agreed. I think this is one of the rare cases where execution is warranted – if he is found guilty in a court of law, of course.

  10. It’ll get even more interesting if it turns out the perp is named Mohammed.

  11. It’ll get even more interesting if it turns out the perp is named Mohammed.

  12. Build more schools and roads. This will blow over.

  13. United States Virgin Islands Republican caucuses, 2012
    Candidate Votes Percentage Unbound Delegates Delegates
    Ron Paul 112[3] 29.2% 1 1
    Mitt Romney 101 26.3% 6 7
    Rick Santorum 23 6.0% 0 0
    Newt Gingrich 18 4.7% 0 0
    Uncommitted 130 33.9% 2 1
    Unprojected delegates:[4] 0 0
    Total: 384 100% 9 9

    1. You can say that again

    2. For the first time in the entire campaign the media accurately reported the results of delegate selection rather than who won the straw poll.

      1. Odd, yet not suprising in the least.

  14. This reeks of false flag…

  15. “No muslims every apologized or expressed sorrow for 9/11, so to heck with them. It’s about time the US showed we aren’t f-king around!”

    1. yeah I saw one on CNN suggesting we throw him a ticker tape parade. I had to clean the vomit off my keyboard.

      1. i like the way he can justify mass murder of innocents based on obscene logic, but god forbid he uses the word “hell”, and uses “heck” instead.

        because y’know, you wouldn’t want to be uncouth or anything :l

  16. What if these Afghans were overheard insulting Jesus? Oh wait, killing is only warranted when Muhammad is insulted…my bad.

    1. That’s a mighty thin reed to hang your hat on to achieve equivalent moral indignation, Trent.

  17. Wonder how many times UN Forces went through that village on missions to compensate their guns? Odd that there was nobody there to shoot back.

    1. confiscate fucking auto-spell.

    2. I want my guns compensated. Good ideer.

  18. Cool story, bro. I wonder if it actually happened or if there are some massively important details being left out.

    1. Like the fact that they’re evil muslims.

  19. Three tours in Iraq, now he’s in the supreme shit hole known as Afghanistan, he’s 38 years old and has a wife and two kids back home. I’m not condoning his actions IN ANY WAY, but the truth is US combat troops have been run ragged for a long time now. Just because a person can tote a pack and lift a rifle does not mean they are mentally fit for combat. Just bring them home before more of them snap.

    1. Agreed, some of these soldiers have seem more combat than they have peace time. In my last tour, I saw an E-7 break down and cry like a little girl because he was on his 5th combat tour in 9 years and his wife was leaving him. This soldier is 100% responsible for his actions. He is a monster that must pay for his crimes, and a disgrace to his brothers in arms. But he is a monster created by this endless and meaningless war, and a military leadership structure hell bent on losing.

      1. But he is a monster created by this endless and meaningless war, and a military leadership structure hell bent on losing.

        Wow… that is really powerful… and I think true.


    Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “anger and sorrow” over the shootings shouldn’t distract from the U.S. mission.

    “We should not forget the attacks on the United States of America on 9/11 originated in Afghanistan,” the Arizona senator said. “And if Afghanistan dissolved into a situation where the Taliban were able to take over or a chaotic situation, it could easily return to an al-Qaeda base for attacks on the United States.”

    In other words, we haven’t made any progress.

    Good thing America elected the anti-war alternative to McCain.

    1. Except anyone that knows better knows the attacks originated in Saudi Arabia.

    2. Are we ever going to get out of that shithole? Ever?

      1. We’ll murder our way out!

    3. Sure we’ve made progress. In ’99 I took a middle eastern history course and in the recitation sections we spent most of our time either following the goings on in Israel/Palestine or watching what was happening jn Afghanistan/Pakistan. Our instructirs knew shit was brewing there.

      Now, 99% of the country knows what’s going on in Afghanistan so you can’t say we haven’t made progress. Knowing is half the battle! Of course the other half is knowing when to GTFO, or even what the scope of operations should be.

      Many peolle (myself included) have made the case that Afghanistan was a just war because it was a necessary response to unprovoked agression. That response pro ably should never have been allowed to escalate into a full scale occupation.

      1. No it shouldn’t have. We should have bombed the shit out of them. Told them if they did it again wed be back, and left. We shouldn’t have stayed long enough for the fires to go out. If people want freedom, they can earn it.

    4. fwiw, obama as bad as he is (and god knows he sucks) never claimed to be anti-war or even remotely close to that.

      he repeatedly claimed that afghanistan was a just war and that we just weren’t taking it seriously enough and were using poor tactics there. he said he would prosecute that war vigorously.

      afghanistan is one of the few things that obama’s actual record towards is not grossly different than his campaign promises

      anybody who believed obama was an anti-war candidate clearly wasn’t listening to his campaign rhetoric about afghanistan

  21. Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. That is COIN strategy in a nutshell

  22. Bad stuff, but how is the situation in Afghanistan worse now?

    They still hate us. The Taliban still wants revenge. We still have no idea what we are doing there.

    1. It’s no worse if you take the fatalistic attitude that all Afghans already hated us a week ago, and that we’d made absolutely no progress since the day of the invasion.

      Which means, yeah, there’s a case to be made that it’s no worse.

      But if you subscribe to the fantasy that we’ve been winning friends and allies and building a nation and what not, then it’s possible for us to move forward and backward on achieving our goal, and this would move us backward by alienating Afghanis on the margin.

      Considering the fact that some of the worst attacks recently have come from infiltrators or from Afghanis in our power structures who turned against us and attacked from inside, I think this makes things worse. One guy inside the defense ministry there turning and shooting the place up fucked up training exercises, aid missions, cooperative ventures, etc. all by his lonesome.

  23. Yeah, pretty much gotta go with death here.

    Situations like this are why I go back and forth on the death penalty. There’s no doubt concerning guilt, so my procedural concerns are vastly diminished.

    Lethal injection is OK I guess. Firing squad would look better in the movie version, but I guess we gotta be satisfied with uncinematic justice here.

    1. Justice would be making hims spend the rest of his life in Leavenworth prison, getting sweet sweet lovin from SFC Nasty Nate. Lethal injection is simply eliminating a threat.

      1. Prison rape is fucking hilarious. No, really, let’s encourage more rape. That’s a great attitude.

  24. lol, the Taliban is nothing more than a bunch of washed up has beens.

    1. Something tells me they’ll make a bit of a comeback after this, spambot.

  25. About damn time some of our soldiers got tired of the BS and started sending the message to the Taliban/Afghans that we aint willing to let em kill our soldiers and civilians without doing our best to wipe theirs the hell out too…
    He should have gotten a medal instead of incarceration

  26. What’s the over-under on this guy being acquitted of all charges at the eventual trial?

    1. Not gonna happen. Convicting him is Politically Important.

      Unlike, apparently, the Muslim officer who had the good sense to go on his killing spree in the US, and only kill Americans.

      1. I’m terrified of going apeshit and sticking my fist through the wall, so I’ll ask you instead of looking it up — what happened to the Fort Hood murderer?

        1. Nothing, still enjoying his right to a speedy trial. But that’s all par for the course. Muslim-non-Muslim has nothing to do with it. Remember the shootings in Afghanistan in 2007?

          US forces then … [opened] fire on some vehicles for 6?16 miles while driving along the Afghan street … firing indiscriminately at civilians … killing elderly men, women, and children.

          Major General Frank Kearney … announced that there was no evidence supporting the Marines’ story that they had come under fire. … Compensation payments of approximately $2000 were reportedly paid to the families of those [19] killed or [50] wounded.

          A Marine Corps Court of Inquiry … formally investigated the incident … [and] concluded that the convoy “acted appropriately and in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

          1. My apologies for …-anizing everything, but if you can’t say it in 900 characters it’s clearly not worth saying.

  27. There’s chum in the water, for sure. We seem to have picked up the kind of rabble that infests my local newspaper online comments section. “Death Penalty!”, “Yay! Prison rape!”. Because, of course, he won’t die unless we put him to death, and prison rape is funny!.

  28. The Afghanis need their own second amendment. You’d have thought they would have an AK around somewhere to stop this kind of BS.

    1. I thought US troops were in the habit of disarming the locals. Maybe I am wrong about that?

  29. Allegedly. They forgot to say Allegedly.

  30. Is Daily Pundit’s Bill Quick cheering mass murder? When a soldier went on a rampage, reportedly shooting up Afghans, including women and children, Quick wrote that while the incident was “regrettable,” “I care about those dead Afghans exactly as much as the Taliban Muslim monstrosoties care about dead Americans, men, women, and children alike.” When a reader asked “Why?” his response was an insult and the observation that “actually, I care about them less than the Taliban cares about the victims of its insane murder sprees.” Other readers chimed in with Quick, one going so far as to declare that the person objecting must, simply by having questioned Quick’s assertion, be “concerned over the slaughter of innocents on the enemy’s side only,” as if it were logically impossible to object to mass murder no matter who commits it.…..t-you-sow/

  31. Seriously USA is getting disgusting beyond belief. When will the world stand up & say NO MORE! The past seventy years, has been a catalogue of one war crime after another, most if not all, being treated as no big thing by the US citizens. Their will be no end to these murders until they return to their own shores and the empire falls.

  32. I personally think that we as a country should stand up and back our American soldiers all the way. I mean think back to the beginning of the war when the Taliban beheaded and killed alot of American people that were not even affiliated with the war. How is that not doulbe standards. I mean we can’t protect ourselves if we feel like we are in danger? Go figure!!! What else is gonna happen? I can’t help but wonder who will try to assinate President Barrack Obama? Will it be an American or some other countries militants?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.