NATO kills Karzai’s cousin

This video is called Up to 150 Afghan Civilians Killed in US Attack on Western Province.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Nato troops ‘kill Afghan president’s cousin’

Hamid Karzai and Nato launch separate investigations as nighttime shooting points towards potential intelligence failure

Jon Boone in Kabul

Thursday 10 March 2011 13.53 GMT

A furious row between Nato-led forces and the Afghan president over the killing of civilians looks set to turn into a full-blown crisis after an elderly cousin of Hamid Karzai was killed during a botched Nato operation.

Officials in the southern province of Kandahar confirmed that Haji Yar Mohammad Karzai, a second cousin of the president, was accidentally shot during an overnight operation in the family village of Karz.

Senior tribal leaders, including Karzai’s powerful brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, had gathered for the funeral in keeping with the Islamic tradition of burying the dead within 24 hours.

Athough details are scarce, it appears that a major intelligence failure could have been responsible for the deaths after Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) issued a statement correcting an earlier press release that had claimed a man killed in operations in the area was the father of a Taliban leader.

The original statement said the Taliban leader was being targeted for distributing materials to make car bombs that were being used throughout Kandahar province. It said soldiers had approached a compound and called for all the people inside to come out so they and the building could be searched. …

The new statement said the coalition was “now aware of conflicting reports about the identities of those involved” and an inquiry had been launched.

Karzai’s spokesman, Waheed Omar, said the president had ordered an immediate investigation by Afghan security forces.

“Like always with any other civilian casualty the president was saddened because he takes the loss of life extremely seriously,” Omar said.

Details of what happened are still unclear, although one senior member of the Alokozai tribe, who attended the funeral, said the attack took place at some point after midnight and American soldiers were responsible.

“There were many tanks that came and surrounded the house, but they did not attack any other building,” said Haji Padshah. “The Americans then went in, brought out Haji Mohammad and shot him.”

Ahmadullah Nazak, district chief of the area, said two of his bodyguards and a neighbour were arrested in the operation.

“We don’t know why the operation was carried out in his village, whether he [Karzai’s cousin] was aimed at or somebody else. He was an old man at the age of 60, he had no official job,” Nazak said.

Mahmoud Karzai, another of the president’s brothers, said the killing was a “shocking development” and he could not understand why Nato forces would be hunting for insurgents in Karz, which is in the relatively peaceful district of Dand, not far from Kandahar City.

“Karz is our stronghold, there are absolutely no Taliban there and there never will be,” Mahmoud Karzai told the Guardian.

He said he “smelled a very deep conspiracy” behind the episode, possibly involving a family feud within the Karzai clan that goes back to the jihad period of the 1980s.

“If this is a deliberate setup where the US military is being given false information to settle a personal vendetta then this is very serious,” he said. “I hope there is a full investigation.”

He said the president was not close to his cousin and they had not seen each other for a long time.

Nonetheless, the murder of a relative in a country where family and tribe is all-important is likely to stoke government rage at Nato blunders.

The timing of the incident is especially unfortunate as Karzai has been ratcheting up his criticism of the Nato-led coalition for killing civilians, particularly after nine boys were killed recently when an attack helicopter mistook them for insurgents. …

Karzai has tapped into public rage at the accidents of foreign troops, in part to confound the widespread view that he is a puppet of the US.

He even rejected an apology made by General David Petraeus, commander of Nato and US forces in Afghanistan, after the incident with the nine boys.

See also here. And here. And here.

Bereaved villagers rallied in Kandahar today, accusing the police of killing five of their relatives overnight: here.

Dave Lindorff, This Can’t Be Happening: “The people of Afghanistan know who was flying the two helicopter gunships that brutally hunted down and slaughtered, one by one, nine boys apparently as young as seven years old, as they gathered firewood on a hillside March 1. In angry demonstrations after the incident, they were shouting ‘Death to America””: here.

Comparing Evils: From “Radical Peace: People Refusing War”. William T. Hathaway, Trine Day: “Jamal Khan is an Afghan journalist who fled his country because of Taliban persecution and now lives in Germany. We met in the apartment of a mutual friend from the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft, the German Peace Society. Jamal is mid-forties, thin, with curly brown hair, tan skin, and clear green eyes that take everything in. We spoke in German, then later reworked the interview from my English translation”: here.

2 thoughts on “NATO kills Karzai’s cousin

  1. Ex-Blackwater guards guilty of Afghan manslaughter

    Sunday March 13, 2011 (1423 PST)

    WASHINGTON: Two former Blackwater security guards were convicted Friday of involuntary manslaughter for a deadly shooting in Afghanistan but were acquitted of more serious charges, US officials said.

    Christopher Drotleff, 29, and Justin Cannon, 27, face a maximum of eight years in prison after a jury in federal court found them guilty of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted them of other charges, including second-degree murder.

    The first trial against Drotleff and Cannon � who were employed by Paravant, an affiliate of Xe, formerly Blackwater � ended in a hung jury and mistrial in September 2010. Blackwater provided private security in Afghanistan under contracts with the US Department of Defense.

    US prosecutors said Drotleff and Cannon opened fire at the scene of a traffic accident in Kabul on May 5, 2009, using an AK-47 and a 9mm pistol, killing two people and wounding one. The guards left their base without permission and were escorting a vehicle carrying three interpreters to a taxi stand when there was an accident. The guards claimed the accident was caused by a third vehicle and that they opened fire to protect themselves. But the prosecution said the third car had stopped to assist, and tried to leave after the Paravant guards, who drank heavily earlier in the day, became �combative.�

    Cannon and Drotleff �fired multiple shots into the back of a civilian car that had attempted to pass the accident scene,� prosecutors said in a statement. The passenger, Romal Mohammad Naiem, was killed and the driver was wounded.

    A pedestrian who was walking his dog also was killed. The jury in the state of Virginia convicted both men in the death of Naiem but acquitted them of responsibility in the pedestrian�s death and the driver�s injuries, US authorities said. Cannon and Drotleff provided weapons training to the Afghan National Army. Sentencing is scheduled for June 14.


  2. Pingback: Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan’s vice presidential torture, sexual abuse scandal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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