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Santorum says U.S. should apologize for civilian killings in Afghanistan

BILOXI, MS -- Rick Santorum today said that the United States should apologize for the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians killed by an American soldier on Sunday.

"This was something that was deliberately done by an American soldier to innocent civilians," Santorum said to reporters after delivering an energy address here. "It’s something that the proper authorities should apologize for."

An often-repeated rallying cry from Santorum on the campaign trail has been that he would not apologize for America. He has been critical of President Obama for apologizing what U.S. military officials say was an accidental burning of Korans by soldiers in Afghanistan last month.

The difference, the former Pennsylvania senator seemed to indicate, is that the Koran burning was accidental, while the massacre in southern Afghanistan was not.

One U.S soldier is in custody for the shooting, though accounts from Afghan villagers maintain that a group of soldiers were involved. The Obama administration has promised a thorough investigation and vowed to hold accountable everyone involved.

Meanwhile, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul released this statement on the civilian killings in Afghanistan: "Gov. Romney believes the killings are reprehensible and shares the anguish of the victims' families. These acts by one soldier are not representative of the courageous and honorable conduct of our armed forces. That soldier should be held to account after a full and rapid investigation, and we must be clear that America stands with the Afghan people, not against them."