Wife defends of soldier accused in Afghan rampage

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SEATAC, Wash. (AP) -- The wife of a U.S. soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians defended her husband in an interview set to air on NBC's Today show Monday, saying she finds the charges "unbelievable."

Karilyn Bales told Matt Lauer that her husband, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, is "very brave, very courageous."

The Washington state woman said her husband joined the Army after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to "protect his family, friends and country. He wanted to do his part."

Officials say Staff Sgt. Bales wandered off base in southern Afghanistan earlier this month and killed eight Afghan adults and nine children.

Karilyn Bales said the accusations are "unbelievable to me."

She added that: "He loves children. He would not do that."

Bales is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.