(Updates with testimony of Afghan victim)
By Jonathan Kaminsky
TACOMA, Wash., Aug 21 (Reuters) - An Afghan man who lost 11 relatives including all but one of his seven children in a rampage by a U.S. soldier testified on Wednesday at a sentencing trial for the killer about what it was like to lose his loved ones.
Haji Mohammad Wazir said he had been away when the attack occurred. When he got home he saw the bodies, which had been loaded into a vehicle. Among them were his wife, mother, brother and six of his children.
"If someone loses one child, you can imagine how devastated that person would be," Wazir said.
His surviving 4-year-old son, who was with him at the time of the killings, "misses everyone" and has not forgotten them, he said.
In March 2012, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales killed 16 people on their family compounds. Wazir was among a group of Afghans who had been flown to the United States to testify about the effect the massacre had on their lives.
Bales, a veteran of four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has admitted to gunning down the villagers, mostly women and children, in nighttime attacks on their compounds in Kandahar province.
In exchange for his guilty plea, Bales has been spared the death penalty. A jury of six military personnel will decide if he will spend the rest of his life in prison or if he will be eligible for parole after 20 years.
Army prosecutors have said Bales acted alone and with premeditation. Armed with a pistol, a rifle and a grenade launcher, he left his base twice during the night, returning in the middle of his rampage to tell a fellow soldier, "I just shot up some people."
The killings marked the worst case of civilian deaths blamed on a U.S. soldier since the Vietnam War and further eroded strained U.S.-Afghan relations after more than a decade of conflict in that country.
After the final prosecution witnesses are called, the defense is due to mount its case, possibly also on Wednesday. It is expected to summon Bales' wife, Kari, and other members of his family. Civilian and military doctors may also be called as witnesses.
Defense attorneys for Bales have said they planned to argue that post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury were factors in the killings. The lawyers have said he suffered from PTSD even before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Bales, who has claimed his memories of the killings are spotty, nevertheless acknowledged the killings upon pleading guilty in June and told the court at the time there was "not a good reason in this world" for his actions.
During a nine-day pre-trial hearing last fall, witnesses testified that Bales had been upset by a bomb blast near his outpost that severed a fellow soldier's leg days before the shootings.
Prosecutors have said they hoped to show Bales had engaged in a pattern of bad behavior that predated his multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wednesday's testimony came a day after an Afghan teenager who survived the rampage and was described as about 15 years old testified about the pain of losing his grandmother, who he said "loved me extra."
Another Afghan witness, 41-year-old Mullah Khamal Adin, Wazir's cousin, testified that he arrived at the scene of one of the attacks to find Wazir's mother shot in the head at the entrance of her home. He found the corpses of other family members inside.
"It was such a devastating incident that I don't think I will ever forget it." (Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Gary Hill)