NATO says its troops shot dead two Afghan boys

KABUL Sat Mar 2, 2013 11:04am EST

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KABUL (Reuters) - NATO said on Saturday its forces had accidentally shot dead two Afghan boys, in the latest of a series of reports of civilian deaths at the hands of international troops.

The shooting in the southern province of Uruzgan could further strain the relationship between the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has demanded U.S. special forces leave another province over allegations of torture.

The two boys were shot dead when they were mistaken for insurgents during an operation in northwest Uruzgan on February 28, ISAF commander, U.S. General Joseph Dunford, said in a statement.

"I offer my personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed," Dunford said.

"The boys were killed when Coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces," he said, adding that a team of Afghan and ISAF investigators visited the village on Saturday and met local leaders.

The area, Lowar-e-Dowahom, was often patrolled by international troops, a spokesman for provincial governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada said.

"They saw two young children who were apparently listening to a radio and they shot them - it is not yet clear why," the spokesman said.

Australian forces deployed in Uruzgan said earlier there had been an "operational incident" in the province's northwest but gave no details except that no soldiers were harmed.

On February 13 a NATO air strike requested by Afghan forces killed 10 people - including five children and four women - in the eastern province of Kunar, prompting Karzai to ban his troops from requesting foreign air strikes.

Two weeks later he halted all special forces operations in the central province of Wardak after a series of allegations involving U.S. special forces soldiers and Afghan men said to be working with them.

(Reporting by Mirwais Harooni, Ismail Sameem and Dylan Welch; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (9)
Reuters1945 wrote:
“I offer my personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed,” Dunford said in the statement.

“The boys were killed when Coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces,” he said.

The killing of the innocents goes on and on and on and on.

Women, old men, children, it does not matter. To the trigger happy and the happy to have a trigger to squeeze warriors, anything that moves becomes an insurgent.

Remember the sick and twisted, famous words that we heard in Viet Nam:

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it !”

It is a well known fact that these gun toting “warriors” have their eardrums blasted night and day via their personal ear buds and loud speakers on the base with violent “rock” music to get their adrenaline fired up and their trigger fingers itching to squeeze off their automatic ammo on whatever they can see moving inside the cross hairs of the scopes of their ultra high tech weapons.

I can recall on a news program, a soldier talking about this very thing of saturating their brains with violent sounds so that violence came automatically to them. Any chance for reasoned thinking was washed away by the constant adrenaline rush to locate, confront and destroy the “enemy”.

And the enemy becomes anything that moves in front of one’s line of sight and fire.

For every story like this one, just pause for a moment and try to imagine just how many similar “mistakes” take place that the public never hears about and never make it to the news pages of Reuters et al.

The officer’s “apologies and condolences to the family of the boys” will not bring them back from the dead. And a Mother and Father must bury their two young children in their grave, whose bodies were probably riddled with more bullet holes than one can count.

This is an old story that has been repeating itself forever and ever.
And we the American taxpayers must foot the bill for these atrocities that never end and will in the end change nothing in that sad region, more is the pity.

And when one stops to think of the obscene never ending profits that are generated by such wars for the arms industries, and we know who in Washington have stock in such companies, one must reach for an air sickness bag and cry out to God as we are made to witness the never ending slaughter of the innocents:

“Where are you Lord when we need you most ?”

Mar 02, 2013 10:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bagehot wrote:
Taliban’s out of Kabul. Al Qaeda is grinding to a halt. There hasn’t been an attack out of the Muslim world on U.S. soil in over a decade. The war aims, as I understood them, have been achieved. It’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Out. Out now.

Mar 02, 2013 10:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:
NATO says its troops shot dead two Afghan boys…
“shot dead”?
NATO did not say that.
This what NATO actually said:
“In a statement on Saturday, Gen Joseph Dunford said: “I offer my personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed.”
He said that the boys – who were tending cattle – “were killed when coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces”.

Just another lying bogus headline.

Mar 02, 2013 12:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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