The Taliban have vowed revenge against the U.S. after at least one American soldier shot to death 16 civilians in southern Afghanistan and burned their bodies.

The militant group says in a statement on their website that "American savages" committed the "blood-soaked and inhumane crime" in Panjwai district.

INTERACTIVE: US-Afghan Tension Mounts

The U.S. has said the shootings before dawn Sunday in two villages were carried out by a single American soldier, who is now in custody.

But Afghans have expressed doubt that a single soldier could have carried out the shootings in houses over a mile (2 kilometers) apart.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for several attacks last month that the group said were in retaliation for the Americans burning Qurans.

 

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)