Robert Bales shooting: Afghan families paid for deaths injuries

At least 16 civilians were shot and killed in the March 11 massacre.

Two weeks after Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly went on a rampage near an Afghanistan Army base, killing more than a dozen Afghan civilians, the United States military paid relatives of the deceased and injured, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Military officials held a ceremony in Kandahar on Sunday, during which the U.S. paid relatives $50,000 for each death and $11,000 for each person injured during the March 11 shooting spree, the report says.

Family members declined to comment on the record, but at least one person, a farmer from the Kandahar area, lost 11 family members. Prior to Sunday, family members repeatedly said they would refuse compensation for their loss.

CNN reports that the payments totaled $860,000. An official who declined to be identified says the amount "reflects the devastating nature of the incident."

Bales was charged with 17 counts of murder earlier this week and faces the death penalty. Officials also now say that they believe Bales executed the shooting in two waves and in two different villages, returning to his base in between the two mass shootings.