Afghan peasant tells how Dutch soldiers killed 22 relatives

This video is about US war crimes in Mazar, Afghanistan.

From Dutch daily De Pers:

Uruzgan civilian victims

‘You have killed my family’

By Arnold Karskens

Sultan Jan Mohammed (65) from Qala-e-Ragh village in Afghanistan lost 22 relatives during a nightly bomb attack which Dutch troops had asked for. …

Sultan Jan Mohammed tells about the 16-17 June 2007 night in the Chora district. ‘It was about 17:00 when the foreign soldiers shouted that we should not leave our houses and should stay inside. …

Because the soldiers said: ‘Tomorrow, you will be able to go outside again’, we stayed. We had been reassured and went to sleep.’ …

‘It was four o’clock in the night when I heard airplane sounds and five bombs or more exploded. The bombs fell right on our house. The eight buildings of our qala [farmhouse complex] were destroyed. I myself was under the ruins. People pulled me out. I was unconscious. …

Sultan Jan Mohammed lost his only wife, six of his nine sons, two of his three daughters, many grandchildren, cousins, and in-laws including his sister-in-law. ‘My surviving sons have buried the dead. The government says that the dead were Taliban. It is illegal to show women’s faces. However, my sons showed my relatives to government representatives to prove that they were not Taliban. They showed small children as well. ‘Why did you bomb them?’ they asked.’ …

He speaks quietly, not showing emotions. Also while talking about the death of his seven cows and twenty sheep, his source of income: ‘The bomb impact was so hard, we did not even see any meat any more.’ Now, he lives in a tent and the wives of his dead sons support him. ‘I got 15.000 Pakistani rupiah (about 200 euro) from the government. Nothing from the foreign soldiers. Six relatives were in Kandahar hospital and I used the money to buy medicine.’

He would like to be a witness in a Dutch court case against the perpetrators. ‘Yes. Surely, your law will not say that it is OK to kill innocent people? After they had killed our families, they did not even say sorry.’

Sultan Jan Mohammed’s family were not the only case there; let alone elsewhere in Afghanistan.

Another Arnold Karskens interview with a bereaved Afghan father: here.

20 thoughts on “Afghan peasant tells how Dutch soldiers killed 22 relatives

  1. Australia probes claims soldiers abused Afghan prisoners

    The Associated Press

    May 08, 2008

    Australia is investigating allegations that its soldiers mistreated suspected insurgents in prison in Afghanistan, the military said Friday.

    A senior Afghan National Army commander made the allegations during a weekend meeting with NATO-led International Security Assistance Force officers, the Australian Defense Force said in a statement.

    An investigation was ordered by the head of Australia’s military, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston. The military would not give details of the allegations except to say they related to the treatment of four suspected insurgents.

    The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported the allegations were made by four members of the Taliban who were taken into custody after an Australian soldier was killed during an April 27 battle in the restive Uruzgan province.

    ‘We take all of these claims very seriously and have consistently shown our willingness to be part of investigations into these matters,’ Maj. Gen. Michael Hindmarsh, the Australian National Commander for the Middle East, said in the statement.

    ‘Our troops are well-versed in their procedures regarding the safe and humane treatment of detainees, and we take our legal obligations in this regard extremely seriously,’ the statement said.

    Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the outcome of the investigation would be reported to him.

    Australia joined the U.S.-led campaign to unseat the Taliban regime from power in 2001, and still has about 1,000 troops in Afghanistan.

    Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.


  2. One dead at Afghan demo against US-led soldiers
    10. May 2008, 02:50

    AFP – At least one person was killed and several wounded in Afghanistan Saturday when police opened fire to disperse a protest accusing US-led soldiers of killing civilians, witnesses said.

    The clash erupted in the eastern province of Nangarhar as demonstrators tried to block a road to demonstrate against the killing of three men in a military operation overnight, witnesses said.

    “Police tried to stop them, they threw stones at the police. Police then fired at the crowed. One person was killed and three others were injured,” said local Darya Khan, who was among the demonstrators.

    A doctor said six people were admitted to a local hospital with gunshot wounds.


  3. Afghan villagers flee NATO strikes

    Kyrgyzstan News.Net
    Monday 12th May, 2008

    People have been fleeing their homes in a southern Afghanistan district for fear that NATO strikes will affect them.

    The mass exodus from Garmser, a remote district in troubled Helmand province, has come as NATO launches a major operation against Taliban militants.

    Afghan government officials in the area say around 900 families out of the 6,000 people in the area have already left and are being housed in a government-run camp in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand.

    Lashkar Gah is 50 kilometres from Garmser.

    The military operation launched on April 28 is being led by US Marines and British military.

    The soldiers are searching compounds and trying to find militant hideouts and destroy weapons.

    There have already been some clashes and air strikes.



    May 16, 2008
    U.N. Official Raises Alarms Over Killings in Afghanistan

    KABUL, Afghanistan — A special investigator for the United Nations on Thursday accused foreign intelligence agencies of conducting nighttime raids and killing civilians in Afghanistan with impunity.

    The investigator, Philip Alston, would not specify the nationalities of the intelligence agencies. But the descriptions he gave of units operating out of two American bases in southern and eastern Afghanistan suggested that he was accusing the Central Intelligence Agency or American unconventional-warfare units of operating without accountability to the Afghan government or the foreign military command in the country. Afghan forces working with foreign units were not under the control of the Afghan government, he said.

    American officials in Afghanistan declined to comment on Mr. Alston’s accusations.

    Mr. Alston, who directs a center for human rights and global justice at New York University’s Law School, spoke at a news conference after a 12-day visit to Afghanistan as the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. He reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    On Thursday, a suicide bomber killed 14 people and wounded 25, among them police officers and civilians, in an explosion in a town in southwestern Afghanistan. The target appeared to be a convoy of police vehicles, said the provincial governor, Rohul Aman.

    Mr. Alston said he had concluded that civilian casualties in Afghanistan were intolerably high, and often could be avoided. The lack of accountability, and the complacency at so many killings by the police and international forces, was staggering, he said.

    His comments seemed at odds with claims by NATO that civilian casualties had been greatly reduced in recent months.

    International military forces have killed as many as 200 civilians in the first four months of this year, often in aerial bombings, but also in joint operations with Afghan security forces, he said. The Taliban have killed 300 civilians in the same period, he said. The Taliban may be attacking military targets, but 95 percent, probably more, of their victims were civilians, he said, citing figures compiled by the United Nations’ Afghan mission.

    Mr. Alston said he regretted that the government had given him a clear message not to approach the Taliban. He said it would be useful to talk to the insurgents and make the case for them to avoid civilian casualties. “The Taliban exist, they are engaged in widespread killings; we have an obligation not to stand on formalities, but to seek to diminish civilian casualties and killings,” he said.

    But he reserved his strongest criticism for the two American-run military bases, one known as Camp Ghecko, on the outskirts of Kandahar, and one in the eastern province of Nangarhar. “It is absolutely unacceptable for heavily armed internationals accompanied by heavily armed Afghan forces to be wandering around conducting dangerous raids that too often result in killings without anyone taking responsibility for them,” he said in his report.

    Taimoor Shah contributed reporting from Kandahar, Afghanistan.


  5. Afghans protest Koran shooting
    AFP Published:May 26, 2008

    MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan – Hundreds of university students demonstrated in northern Afghanistan today in a new protest over a US soldier’s shooting of a Koran in Iraq and other alleged affronts to Islam.

    About 800 students marched from Balkh university in Mazar-i-Sharif to the main mosque in the city centre chanting slogans against the “enemies of Islam” including the United States and President George W. Bush, an AFP reporter said.

    “We strongly condemn the shooting of our holy book by an American soldier in Iraq. He must be hanged for that,” said one of the protesters, Ahmad Nasir, a religious student.


  6. Afghans stage more protests over Quran shooting

    Published: May 26, 2008, 11:41

    Tangi Wagh Jan: Hundreds of Afghans chanted anti-US slogans on Monday in protest against the shooting of the Quran by an American soldier in Iraq.

    Sporadic protests have erupted across Afghanistan in the last week as news spreads of a copy of the Quran being found riddled with bullets at a shooting range in Baghdad on May 11.

    A Lithuanian soldier and at least two Afghans were killed last week when protesters tried to storm a military base in the west of the country.

    In the latest protests, police arrested dozens of demonstrators and prevented them blocking a highway in Logar province south of the capital, Kabul. Some demonstrators waved the white flag of the Taliban.

    “Death to America. Death to Bush, his allies and the United Nations. We want them out,” said one young protester as others chanted Allahu Akbar, or God is Great.

    An effigy of US President George W. Bush and an American flag were dragged along the road.

    The shooting of the Quran was the latest in moves to insult Islam, a speaker said, recalling the printing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in the Western press and the desecration of the Quran by a US soldier in Guantanomo Bay prison.

    The US president apologised to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last week and promised to prosecute the US soldier accused of desecrating the Quran. There have no demonstrations in Iraq over the incident.

    Protests over perceived insults to Islam have often turned violent in Afghanistan, where a deeply conservative faith is mingled with resentment at the presence of foreign troops.

    Protests over the shooting of the Quran also took place in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Monday.

    “They always add fuel to our anger. We strongly denounce it and ask the Afghan government to cut any relations with these people,” said Mohammad Nasim, a protester.

    Protesters destroyed an effigy of Bush.

    Some 12,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan in the last two years since the Taliban relaunched their insurgency to overthrow the pro-Western Afghan government and drive out the more than 60,000 foreign troops now based in the country.


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