Monday, July 21, 2008

Foreign troops kill civilians and cops

In Farah province, at least nine Afghan police were killed by foreign air strikes when they were mistaken for insurgents. Three police are still missing while four more were injured. Meanwhile, at least four (maybe seven) civilians were killed by NATO mortars in Paktika province.

Afghan police, civilians killed by coalition troops
By Nahal Toosi

KABUL, Jul 20 (AP) — U.S.-led troops and Afghan forces killed nine Afghan police Sunday, calling in air strikes and fighting on the ground for four hours after both sides mistook the other for militants, Afghan officials said.

In a separate incident, NATO said it accidentally killed at least four Afghan civilians Saturday night. A NATO soldier also was killed in the east...

In the western province of Farah near the Iranian border, a convoy of foreign forces showed up in Anar Dara district and clashed with Afghan police, killing nine of them, said provincial Deputy Governor Younus Rasuli...

In eastern Paktika province, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it killed at least four civilians Saturday night when its troops fired two mortar rounds that landed nearly half a mile short of their target. NATO said it was investigating whether three other civilians also were killed in the Barmal district...

The alliance said it was providing medical aid to four civilians who were wounded.

Also Sunday, a NATO soldier was killed during fighting in the eastern Khost province... (link)
Meanwhile, NATO troops in Khost province wounded a dozen civilians while fending off a Taliban attack. And in Ghazni, dozens of Taliban fighters were reported to have taken remote Ajistan district - which was captured by the insurgents last fall.

Regarding the worsening security situation in Afghanistan, Rick Hillier's replacement General Walter Natynczyk has stepped back from his ridiculous statements made last week. Conceding that security has worsened overall, he says that nevertheless Canadian forces have seen some limited success:
Western officials say Kandahar province has not been an exception to the general trend of deteriorating security in southern Afghanistan.

But [Natynczyk's] comments about localized improvements within the province reflect the views of Canadian military officers who say they have reduced Taliban
activity in a limited number of locations such as Pashmul, a cluster of villages 15 kilometres west of Kandahar city.

Such zones of relative security are geographically limited, however; another group of villages known as Ashokay, only a few kilometres east of Pashmul, has become a notorious hideout for insurgents.

Nor has the Canadian military effort of the past two years pushed the insurgents farther away from Kandahar city, since some of the air strikes against suspected Taliban positions in the past few days have targeted locations near Zala Khan, only 10 kilometres south of the city limits... (link)
The BBC says that rather than nine police being killed, four police officers and five civilians were killed in the mistaken attack.

No comments: