Sunday, January 18, 2009

Canadians help kill civilians

From December:

Tensions Rise As Afghans Say U.S. Raid Kills Civilians

New York Times

KABUL, Dec 18 - A deadly United States military raid on a house near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan became a new source of tension on Thursday, with the Americans calling it a successful counterterrorism strike and the Afghans saying it left three innocent civilians dead and two wounded, including a 4-year-old boy bitten by an attack dog.

The raid took place on Wednesday in the village of Kundi, in Khost Province...

In Khost, American-led forces blasted the gate of the house early on Wednesday, then fatally shot the family’s father and mother and a male relative, according to Tahir Khan Sabry, deputy governor of the province. Their relationship with the wounded boy was unclear, and another woman was also bitten. Mr. Sabry described all the victims as noncombatant civilians.

The American military said that the raid led to the detention of an operative of Al Qaeda and that those killed were armed and showing “hostile intent.” ...

In Khost, public outrage over the house raid was visible at the funerals for those who were killed. The use of dogs in military actions is especially delicate for Afghans...

“I saw the 4-year-old boy, and he had an injury under his knee that was definitely the mark of a dog bite,” said Rasoul Adel, a local television reporter. (link)
On December 26, US forces killed a local Taliban commander along with several civilians, with a little help from their Canadian friends:
Afghanistan: Protests Over Raid

New York Times

Dec 26 - For the second time in a little over a week, a deadly United States military raid on an Afghan house has incited protests and produced conflicting reports over who was killed.

The Americans said they killed 11 armed Taliban militants, part of a bomb-making cell in the Maiwand District west of Kandahar, on Thursday. The Americans said they found dozens of land mines, grenades and bomb-making materials.

But local government leaders said eight militants and four civilians were killed. Outraged Afghans protested by blocking the highway between Kandahar and Herat with burning tires. (link)
The Globe and Mail, referring to the same US-led raid:
The man believed responsible for the earlier bombings, known as Shahir Sahib, died earlier in the day as U.S. forces swept into compounds further west of the city during an overnight raid in Maywand district, according to a military statement.

“Canadian intelligence operators played a key role in developing leads and information that led to the conduct of this operation,” the statement said.

But the raid ignited an angry protest on the main highway later in the afternoon, with local villagers burning tires and blocking the road for three hours, claiming that innocent people were killed in the attack...

At one point, witnesses described the unruly mob swelling into a crowd of hundreds and preparing to charge the heavily guarded barricades of Maywand District Centre, the main government outpost in the rebellious district...

[L]ocal villagers said a child was killed and two other women injured and suggested that the U.S. troops had been tricked by a local man into targeting the houses as part of an ongoing feud. The owner of a house targeted in the raid, Nazar Mohammed, had a violent disagreement with his brother-in-law after a recent marriage... (link)

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