NATO soldiers kill Afghan civilians yet again

This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 4): Civilian Casualties.

From the site of Afghan women’s organization RAWA:

PAN, December 29, 2009

“Four Afghan civilians killed in Baghlan air raid”

UNAMA said that 468 deaths were caused by pro-government forces, including NATO and US-led forces, and 166 by “other actors

Habib Rahman Sherzai

Four civilians have reportedly been killed and eight others wounded in a fresh air strike by foreign forces in northern Baghlan province, residents alleged on Tuesday.

The overnight attack took place in Kohna Qala area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district, residents told Pajhwok Afghan News. The fresh air raid came about three days after 10 civilians were killed during military operations in eastern Kunar province.

The Saturday air strike in Kunar drew condemnation from the lawmakers on Monday who walked out of the session and later a parliamentary delegation met President Hamid Karzai to show their resentment. Karzai ordered a serious probe into the attack that killed ten people including eight school children in Badeel area in Narang district.

In the last night air raid, the dead included a father and his three sons, who were killed while running to escape the bombardment, a teacher at the Jamiat Aburjaee High School in the area, Karim Safi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

A student of the school, Karim Javed, said that the air raid also left many people wounded including a student of his school.

Head of the district hospital, Abdul Qahir Qanit, said they had received eight injured people delivered to the hospital with a woman and a child in a critical condition.

The war in Afghanistan is becoming deadlier, killing 10 percent more civilians during the first 10 months of 2009 compared to the previous period last year, according to UN figures.

UNAMA said that 468 deaths were caused by pro-government forces, including NATO and US-led forces, and 166 by “other actors”.

US Military is Meeting Recruitment Goals With Video Games – But at What Cost? Here.

Afghan soldier opens fire at military base in Afghanistan, killing one American and injuring two Italian troops: here.

Scottish Socialist Party national spokesman Colin Fox has condemned “silent” MSPs who have ignored a letter from grieving grandmother Joan Humphreys asking them to support the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan: here.

6 thoughts on “NATO soldiers kill Afghan civilians yet again

  1. Army mom in trouble with military over involuntary leave back home in Oakland

    By Angela Woodall

    Oakland Tribune

    Posted: 12/28/2009 04:23:44 PM PST
    Updated: 12/29/2009 06:49:47 AM PST

    OAKLAND � Next week, Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army specialist from Oakland, will return to her base in Georgia and the decision that awaits her for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because she did not have enough time to make care plans for her infant son � a common situation among troops stretched thin from fighting wars on two fronts.

    Hutchinson, an Army cook, was confined 45 days to the Hunter Army Airfield for “alleged misconduct” before being released to spend Christmas with her son, who will have his first birthday Monday. No charges have been filed.

    She could receive an “other than honorable” discharge � roughly the equivalent of a bad-conduct discharge � for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan with the rest of her unit Nov. 5 after child care plans for her then 10-month-old son, Kamani, fell through.

    “It was just me and my baby,” Hutchinson said Monday at her mother’s East Oakland home, where she has been on leave since Dec. 21.

    “I was given a choice to get in a plane or be with my son,” Hutchinson said, adding that other service members with families have experienced similar situations.

    “Right now it’s all about numbers,” Hutchinson said. “They just want more bodies over there.”

    Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said the Army is “quite aware of the situation.”

    “This is not the first time this has happened,” he said.

    Banks said soldiers either have to find another caregiver or leave the Army under an “other than honorable” discharge if family care plans fall through. “Unfortunately,” he said, “it happens.”

    A family care plan is crucial, Banks added, and is required of all single-parent soldiers or couples who could face simultaneous deployment. The situation is more difficult because soldiers are being deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq, Banks said.

    An “other than honorable” discharge would allow Hutchinson, who said her family care plan was botched, to separate from the Army with the loss of some benefits. Either way, Hutchinson, who joined the ROTC as a freshman at Fremont High School, expects to become a civilian in February.

    “We’re waiting to figure out what is going to happen,” said Hutchinson’s civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman. “Her child care issues are still not resolved. We’re hoping to resolve it administratively. We would be happy for an honorable or general discharge.”

    Hutchinson joined the Army in 2007 and gave birth in January of this year. She had intended to leave her son with her mother, Angelique Hughes, in Oakland. Her mother soon realized, however, that she was unable to take care of Kamani. Hutchinson said she has no contact with Kamani’s father or his family.

    The Army told Hutchinson they would give her more time to find suitable arrangements for her child but then this month told her she would not get the extended time and would have to deploy even though she was scheduled to be discharged for medical reasons.

    Just before her scheduled deployment to Afghanistan in November, she went AWOL for less than 24 hours and returned voluntarily, her lawyer said. She was arrested by the military Nov. 6 for being absent without leave, and the Army placed her son in child protective services. Hutchinson’s mother flew to Georgia to pick up Kamani and brought him back to Oakland.

    Hutchinson and her son will return to Hunter Airfield on Jan. 6 when her leave ends.

    “It all comes down to me not getting on a plane,” Hutchinson said. “I can fight it, but I don’t want to. One way or the other, I will be out in February.”

    Chris Metinko and John Simerman contributed to this story.


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