(Reuters) – Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai called for NATO troops to leave Afghan villages after 16 civilians died in a shooting rampage by a U.S. soldier, underscoring Afghan fury over the massacre and clouding U.S. exit plans.

In a near-simultaneous statement, the Taliban said they were suspending nascent peace talks with the United States seen as a strong chance of ending the country’s decade-long war, blaming “shaky, erratic and vague” U.S. statements.

Karzai, in a statement from his office after meeting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, said as a result of the weekend massacre, “international security forces have to be taken out of Afghan village outposts and return to (larger) bases”.

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