Afghan father says his baby dies in coalition raid
Thu Apr 9, 2009 6:40am EDT
ALI DAYA, Afghanistan, April 9 – The father of a seven-day-old boy said on Thursday his infant son died in an overnight raid by Afghan and U.S. forces, with the U.S. saying it was investigating the claim.
A female school teacher was also killed and the child’s mother wounded, the father said, during the raid in Ali Daya village in Khost province, where Taliban fighters are active. …
Civilian casualties have sapped support for the presence of foreign troops more than seven years after U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taliban. They are also a major source of friction between the West and the Afghan government. …
The boy’s mother was in hospital and could not be reached for comment. Photographs showed the boy’s body with trickles of blood from his nostrils and white dust on his forehead.
Earlier, U.S. forces released a statement saying they had killed four militants, including two women, after they came under fire when approaching a house in Ali Daya.
Gul said four adults died, but none were militants, and one of the women was a schoolteacher.
UPDATE, from AFP:
US military kills mother, kids
09/04/2009 20:50 – (SA)
Kabul – The US military in Afghanistan admitted on Thursday that four of the people killed by its troops 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, where the US military initially said “four combatants” were killed.
“Further inquiries into the coalition and ANSF (Afghan National Security Force) operation in Khost earlier today (Thursday) suggest that the people killed and wounded were not enemy combatants as previously reported,” the military said.
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.
Occupants suspected they were thieves
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 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.