Muslim in Suffer

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US military admits killing mother, children

Posted by musliminsuffer on April 13, 2009

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

US military admits killing mother, children

Thu Apr 9, 1:49 PM

KABUL (AFP) – The US military in Afghanistan admitted Thursday that four people its troops killed in a raid were not “combatants”, after Afghans said they included a mother and her children, with a baby dying afterwards.

Afghan officials and witnesses earlier accused the forces of killing civilians in an overnight raid in the eastern province of Khost that the US military initially said killed “four combatants”.

“Further inquiries into the coalition and ANSF (Afghan National Security Force) operation in Khost earlier today suggest that the people killed and wounded were not enemy combatants as previously reported,” the military said.

“Coalition forces are working closely with local Afghan officials and family members to express condolences and provide assistance in the aftermath of this tragic event,” it said, adding that an investigation was continuing.

It is the latest in a series of incidents in which civilians have been killed or wounded by international forces, who are in Afghanistan to hunt down Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The Khost police chief in charge of counter-terrorism, who is named only Ghazuddin, told AFP that the soldiers had gone to a village outside of Khost city in search of a militant.

They climbed on the roofs of other houses to surround the targeted building, he told AFP.

The occupants of one of the homes, which belonged to a colonel in the Afghan National Army who was serving elsewhere, suspected they were thieves, came out with guns and opened fire, Ghazuddin said.

“The Americans shot them thinking they are insurgents,” he said.

The colonel’s wife and daughter, son and brother were killed, he said.

Two women and a baby boy were also wounded. “The coalition took the women and little boy to hospital for treatment. Later the boy died,” Ghazuddin said.

He was unable to say what injuries killed the baby, whom he said was nine months old.

However, the baby’s uncle, Janat Gul, said the child was seven days old.

The dead woman was a school teacher, the Afghan education ministry said in a statement. It added that the girl who died was in the fourth grade at school, which would make her about 10 years old, and the boy was in the ninth grade, making him around 15.

The US military gave a similar version of events.

“Coalition and Afghan forces do not believe that this family was involved with militant activities and that they were defending their home against an unknown threat,” its statement said.

The force said earlier that the raid targeted a militant linked to the radical Haqqani network and the Islamic Jihad Union, both associated with Al-Qaeda.

Three suspected militants were arrested at the compound that was initially targeted, it said. They included the targeted militant, the force told locals.

Civilian casualties caused by international forces in Afghanistan have sparked frequent anger and resentment, leading President Hamid Karzai to accuse them of not taking enough care.

Karzai has told the international forces to work in close consultation with the Afghan authorities to avoid harming civilians.

The United Nations said in February that a record 2,118 civilians were killed in the Afghan conflict in 2008, with nearly 40 percent of the deaths caused by pro-government forces, including US-led and NATO troops.



-muslim voice-

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