Friday, September 19, 2008

Canucks and Aussies kill Afghans

From the Globe and Mail:

Afghan killed when Canadian troops fire on civilian vehicle

KANDAHAR, Sept 19 (CP) - Canadian soldiers fired on a civilian vehicle that was driving toward a military convoy Thursday evening, killing one of the occupants...

A few days ago, Canadian military investigators ruled on an incident from last July in which two Afghan children were killed when the vehicle they were riding in got too close to a convoy.

The investigation found the soldiers had followed proper procedures before firing a single round from a 25 millimetre cannon into the speeding vehicle which came within 10 metres of the convoy.

Four-year-old Maraka and two-year-old Tor Jan were killed July 27 in the Panjwaii district southwest of Kandahar City.

Military officials said at the time that the soldiers involved flashed the lights on their vehicles, made hand gestures and issued audio warnings for the vehicle to pull over before they fired... (link)
CTV's Paul Workman reports from Afghanistan:
"There's always a fair amount of anger on the streets of Kandahar City when these events happen because it once again reminds the Afghans that they really don't have control of their roads," [Workman] said. (link)
Note above that the Canadian troops who killed the two kids back in July seem to have fired no warning shots. While that might seem as though "proper procedures" were not followed, in fact our troops are not required to fire warning shots, as Edmonton Journal reporter Graham Thomson noted a few weeks back:
The troops, I'm told, don't have to fire warning shots. If they feel threatened, they can fire directly into the vehicle. (link)
The father of the two dead children, Ruzi Mohammad, still awaits his promised compensation, as the Canadian Press recently reported:
Told it could take four weeks for the cash to flow, Mohammed said he needs it now.

"lf Canadians will not support me now, I am compelled to join the Taliban and to take revenge for my two innocent children," he said... (link)

The latest fatality is the eleventh Afghan civilian directly killed by the Canadian Forces, according to Embassy magazine. Last week, that journal reported on the first time release by Department of National Defence of statistics on Afghans dead and wounded. Ten dead, thirty wounded in the past two and a half years.

Meanwhile, the Australian Defence Force has their own problems:
Australia to probe whether soldiers killed Afghan governor

SYDNEY, Sept 19 (AFP) - The Australian military said Friday it would investigate whether its soldiers accidentally killed an Afghan district governor and several others during a firefight in a former Taliban stronghold...

The district chief and two of his men were shot and killed when they went to the aid of a friend who had called for help believing Taliban had surrounded his home in troubled Uruzgan province, a local Afghan official told AFP.

The soldiers outside the man's home were however international troops who then mistook Khan and his men for Taliban fighters, he said.

The Australian Defence Force said the deaths occurred after a special forces patrol group was fired upon from a number of locations and returned fire in self-defence... (link)

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