Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Three Killed in Pakistan

9 April 2007

Three tribesmen were killed in South Waziristan, according to TheNews.com, by militants going to the border with Afghanistan. NATO forces say that if they try to enter Afghanistan they would engage them.

Locals say they are probably headed toward the Baghar area, where the tribal lashkar supported by Pakistani forces will try to push them across the border.

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Unit Ordered Out of Afghanistan After Firing on Civilians

24 March 2007

The Marines accused of killing civilians after a suicide bombing are being investigated, according to CNN, and their entire unit (about 120 people) will be moved out at some point. Up to ten Afghans were killed and 34 wounded.

Also in Afghanistan, NATO troops killed a 12-year-old boy after they say the car he was in did not stop when ordered, according to the Yahoo.

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Suicide Bomb in Afghanistan Kills Three

14 March 2007

A suicide bomber killed three civilians and wounded eight, according to USA Today. He was at a border crossing from Pakistan, and blew himself up in a line of people waiting to have their bags checked.

Another suicide bomber was shot outside an army recruitment center in the Helmand province, wounding two soldiers.

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Military Committed to Free Press, Sometimes

11 March 2007

The military says that the erasing of AP footage of an incident in which US soldiers might have killed civilians was justified. According to Editor and Publisher, Colonel Victor Petrenko, chief of staff to the top US commander in eastern Afghanistan said that “We are completely committed to a free and independent press, and we hope that we can help encourage this tradition in places where new and free governments are taking root.” However, he also says that “It so happens that on these two recent occasions, military operational or security requirements were compelling interests that overrode the otherwise protected rights of the press,” leading one to wonder what free press is worth if it’s to easily “overridable.”

Apparently, photos by “untrained people” (how AP photographers are included in this is unknown) might “capture visual details that are not as they originally were.” However, the photographers met requests to stay a certain distance from the site, and even if they had not, deleting images would not have suddenly set the scene back as it was.

An additional issue for the military was that the images might lead to false public conclusions. Obvious questions about what makes it “false” aside, that’d be a reason to prohibit them temporarily from publishing, not to delete them.

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Nine Civilians Killed by Bombs in Afghanistan

6 March 2007

Nine civilians, among them four children, were killed after US planes dropped two bombs on their mud house, according to the Independent. The children were all between six months and five years old. The US military says that they saw men with rifles go into a group of mud houses, and that “These men knowingly endangered civilians by retreating into a populated area while conducting attacks against coalition forces.” One might also suggest that the US military knowingly endangered civilians by dropping two 2000-pound bombs on a group of no doubt well-fortified mud houses.

This attack comes after the US military killed eight civilians following a suicide bomb when they opened fire on a busy road outside Jalalabad. The Associated Press says that US soldiers deleted footage and photographs of dead civilians, warning them not to publish any images of what had happened.

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Update on Jalalabad Incident

5 March 2007

Reports are now saying that 16 civilians were killed in the Sunday attack there, according to the New York Times. 24 civilians were also wounded. After a suicide car bombing, US troops opened fire. It remains unclear how many people were killed by which.

“When we parked our vehicle, when they passed us, they opened fire on our vehicle,” said Mohammad Ishaq, a 15-year-old who was hit by a bullet in his arm and another in his ear. “It was a convoy of three American Humvees. All three Humvees were firing around.”

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Coalition Troops Open Fire, Kill Eight

4 March 2007

Coalition troops outside Jalalabad opened fire and killed eight civilians following a suicide bombing, according to BBC News. Neither the US military nor NATO has commented on the event.

Locals say that the suicide bomber drove a minivan into a US convoy, then troops opened fire.

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Roadside Bomb Kills Three

2 March 2007

A roadside bomb in the city of Farah, Afghanistan, has killed three and wounded 48, according to the AP. Ten of those wounded are children, and the bomb exploded near a school. Most of the other wounded are construction workers.

Taliban militants briefly took over part of Farah last week, and this attack has been blamed on them.

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Death of Seven Civilians Unconfirmed

15 February 2007

Locals say that a NATO strike killed seven civilians, according to BBC News, though it has not been confirmed. A Taliban leader and 10 to 15 other militants were also killed in the strike.

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Over 1,000 Afghan Civilians Killed in 2006

30 January 2007

Human Rights Watch released a report saying that over 1,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year, according to BBC News. HRW says that most were killed by the Taliban or other anti-government groups. Also, 80,000 people have been displaced in southern Afghanistan. Though the government said a year ago that it would improve security and human rights, “Kabul and its international backers have made little progress in providing basic needs like security, food, electricity, water and health care,” according to Sam Zarifi, HRW’s Asia Research Director.

Earlier in this month, NATO says that it’s biggest mistake was killing innocent civilians.

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