Friday, January 22, 2010

More killings by ground forces reveal emerging tactic

Another protest following more alleged civilian killings, this time in Ghazni province northeast of Kandahar. What is especially noteworthy about this incident is that ground forces are once again the perpetrators. This is in fact another in a series of incidents involving ground troops, whereas only a few months ago, civilian casualties by foreign forces were nearly all caused by airstrikes. So it appears that new more aggressive (or at least more numerous) ground force operations have become the principle source of civilian casualties by foreign forces.

Afghans protest over alleged civilian deaths

GHAZNI, Jan 21 (AFP) - Angry Afghan villagers took to the streets on Thursday claiming that civilians were killed in a raid by Afghan and NATO troops but the international force said the dead were insurgents.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it killed four insurgents including a 15-year-old boy in an operation in the Qarabagh district of Ghazni province on Wednesday night...

But about 50 furious villagers brought five coffins to the provincial capital Ghazni city on Thursday, claiming that three of the dead were civilians, including two children below the age of seven, an AFP reporter saw.

"Doctors told me that there were two children among the bodies brought to hospital," said Mohammad Ismail Ibrahimzai, head of the provincial hospital where the bodies were initially taken... (link)
The day following the alleged killing of the three civilians, NATO troops in Helmand (most likely US Marines) attended to three children wounded in crossfire.


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