Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Atrocity in Helmand?

The Telegraph (UK) reports on accusations that Afghan and "unspecified foreign soldiers" killed several civilians in an atrocity last month in Helmand province:

Claims of atrocity in Helmand province
By Tom Coghlan in Kabul

(Dec 12) The British Army says it is "taking seriously" claims that children were shot and several adult villagers had their throats cut during a secret military operation by unidentified forces in Helmand province.

The alleged Nov 18 mission in the village of Toube reportedly involved Afghans and unspecified foreign soldiers.

One man claimed to have witnessed his brother having his throat slashed as he protested that he was a shopkeeper and not with the Taliban.

Others alleged that two children were shot as they slept.

Col Richard Eaton, the spokesman for the British military in Helmand, said: "These are very serious allegations and we have no sense of whether they are true or not.

"There is something that took place at approximately that time and it did cause some casualties. The initial assessment was that those were all Taliban."

A Nato spokesman said that he was unaware of any Nato troops being in the area on the night.

US special forces have undertaken secret missions about which Nato has no knowledge.

But in the past Nato has accused the Taliban of inventing supposed atrocities by Western forces. ... (link)

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