A distraught Afghan father buried his 12-year-old son Friday after the boy was shot in the head by NATO troops in the latest in a series of civilian deaths involving international forces.
The NATO force admitted to the shooting late Thursday but said its soldiers had fired in self-defence after a civilian van had ignored verbal warnings to not approach a security cordon around a broken-down armoured vehicle.
Suppose for a moment this is not a propaganda lie: would a US motorist with children in his car react in any way if another motorist would give him “verbal warnings” in an Afghan language?
Confirming the killing, the Afghan interior ministry said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops opened fire on a vehicle “which apparently tried to overtake the troops or may be the car was too close to the troops.”
But the boy’s father, named only Zemarai, denied trying to overtake the convoy while driving seven of his relatives home after visiting family.
He also said he had been several hundreds metres (yards) away and was not aware of warning shots, which troops are required to fire before taking aim.
“All of a sudden they opened fire at our vehicle,” he said angrily from his home, filled with wailing mourners for the funeral of young Zaryalai.
“The first three bullets hit my car and the fourth one hit my 12-year-old son on the side of his head,” the father said, his voice breaking with emotion.
The boy made no sound and Zemarai only realised the child was dead when he stopped the vehicle.
Meanwhile, ISAF said in a statement late Thursday that one of its convoys had hit and killed a child in the eastern province of Khost.
The child had darted out from the side of the road, it said.
In one of the worst incidents involving civilians and foreign forces this year, eight people were killed when US troops opened fire after a suicide bombing near the eastern city of Jalalabad March 4.
The US-led coalition said the civilians were killed in the attack and subsequent gunfire, but witnesses said they were all killed by the foreign forces.
The results of an investigation have yet to be announced.
Apparently, the NATO troops in the 12 year old boy case, are British soldiers.
Jalalabad masacre: here.