Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The Afghan Taliban said Monday that its fighters would exact revenge for 16 people left dead after an American soldier went on a house-to-house shooting rampage in two villages a day earlier.
Describing U.S. forces as "sick minded American savages," the Taliban said in a statement on its website that it would mete out punishment for the "barbaric actions." The Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist movement, has battled the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan for a decade.
U.S. officials have expressed shock and sadness over the attack, while Afghan leaders have angrily condemned it. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan called it an "unforgivable" crime, noting that nine of the dead were children.
The killings have fueled fears of intensified ire directed at international forces in the country following deadly riots over the burning of Qurans by U.S. troops late last month.