NATO kills Afghan civilians again … and again


This video from the USA is called Democracy Now: Afghan Antiwar Activist Malalai Joya Calls for an End to the War.

From Allvoices.com:

In Afghanistan, two Afghan civilians were killed when NATO soldiers opened fire on a car in the southern city of Kandahar today.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said the troops fired after the vehicle made a deliberate effort to target an ISAF dismounted patrol.

However, Kandahar Deputy provincial police chief said an ISAF soldier opened fire after a civilian car hit one of their vehicles in a traffic accident.

Australian soldiers in Afghanistan post racist anti-Afghan comments: here. And here.

USA: Quagmires R Us: Now Adding Libya to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq: here.

How Many Afghan Lives To A Western One? Here.

Enayat Najafizada and Rod Nordland, The New York Times News Service: “Stirred up by a trio of angry mullahs who urged them to avenge the burning of a Koran at Florida church, thousands of protesters overran the compound of the United Nations in this northern Afghan city, killing at least 12 people, Afghan and United Nations officials said. The dead included at least seven United Nations workers – five Nepalese guards and two Europeans, one of them a woman. None were Americans. Early reports, later denied by Afghan officials, said at least two of the dead had been beheaded”: here.

Deadly Protests for Koran Burning Reach Kandahar. Taimoor Shah and Rod Nordland, The New York Times News Service: “Violent protests over the burning of a Koran in Florida flared for a second straight day, with young men rampaging through the streets of this southern capital, flying Taliban flags and wielding sticks. Nine people were killed and 81 injured in the disturbances, all from bullet wounds, according to Abdul Qayoum Pakhla, head of the provincial health department”: here.

6 thoughts on “NATO kills Afghan civilians again … and again

  1. From AFP:

    Western aid lines Taliban pockets in Afghanistan

    * Published: 31/03/2011 at 02:31 PM
    * Online news: Asia

    When Afghan businessman Rahim won a lucrative deal from a NATO sub-contractor to build a road in the violence-hit south of the country, he put in a call to a local Taliban leader.

    The pair cut a deal — every month Rahim would meet a Taliban representative and quietly hand over $20,000. In return, the insurgents would leave his project alone.

    “It was a good deal. We finished the project in seven months, 20 days ahead of schedule, without once being attacked,” he told AFP.

    As the United States and its Western allies ramp up development in Afghanistan ahead of a planned military withdrawal, a significant proportion of the money spent is going to the very organisation they are here to defeat.

    Much of the construction work is being done in the south and east, the areas worst-hit by the fighting, many of which are controlled by the Taliban.

    Even NATO, encouraged by the United States, is undertaking more and more development work alongside its anti-Taliban operations, banking on a combination of the two to bring peace to the volatile region.

    Several entrepreneurs, some with family or tribal links to the insurgents, showed AFP two documents: their contract with NATO or one of its sub-contractors, and a letter signed by the Taliban leadership authorising the project.

    The strategy does not always work — one of Rahim’s competitors, Shahir, tried to cut a deal with the Taliban in another part of southern Afghanistan and was rejected on the basis that the area was strategically too important.

    He went ahead with the road-building project anyway, but had to give up after three months.

    “The Taliban planted bombs all around the road and sometimes attacked us directly,” said Shahir. “I lost 25 men and $4 million.”

    The Taliban on Monday claimed responsibility for an attack that saw three suicide bombers ram an explosives-laden truck into a construction depot in the east of the country, killing 24 workers and wounding 59 others.

    Officially, the Taliban still oppose any project funded by what they term foreign “invaders”.

    But unofficially, local businessmen say the insurgents are prepared to turn a blind eye to those that are supported by the local population, usually for a fee of around 10 percent of the project cost.

    Thomas Ruttig of the Afghan Analysts Network, a Kabul think tank, believes Western aid money is now one of the insurgents’ main sources of income.

    “The Taliban have changed their behaviour vis-a-vis the reconstruction,” he told AFP. “Their overall policy now is to present themselves as a parallel government that is good to people.”

    The result, says Rahim, is an acceptance of small building projects for things like schools and clinics, but a rejection of asphalt roads, which could be used by foreign troops with their armoured vehicles.

    Arnold Fields, who until recently oversaw US reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, said in October that the US government was unable to determine exactly how nearly $18 billion paid to almost 7,000 mostly private contractors between 2007 and 2009 had been spent.

    A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force told AFP its rules “make it clear that our contracting funds should be spent with contractors who work for the best interest of the Afghan people”.

    But Afghanistan’s Western-backed government is more pragmatic.

    “Companies paying the Taliban is not a problem for us,” Ahmad Shah Wahid, deputy minister for public works, told AFP. “The main thing is to get the job done.”

    Analyst Ruttig despairs of the situation. “The militarisation and privatisation of aid prevent the development of Afghan institutions,” he said.

    “It is aimed at fighting the insurgency and ending the conflict, but it fuels it.”

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  2. Foreign troops kill Afghan civilians in Kandahar – police
    By Ismail Sameem

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Foreign troops killed two Afghan civilians in restive southern Kandahar city Thursday, a police detective said, days after the publication of gruesome photos of the body of an unarmed teen-ager murdered by U.S. soldiers nearby.

    NATO soldiers opened fire after a car with brake failure sped towards a checkpoint set up by foreign and Afghan troops, who thought the vehicle was part of a suicide attack, said Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, a senior detective in Kandahar city.

    Two civilians were killed and four wounded by bullets that hit more than one car, he said, adding that the dead were both adolescent boys. Dawood Farhad, a doctor at Kandahar provincial hospital, said two bodies were brought in with gunshot wounds.

    NATO-led forces said they had opened fire in self-defence after a civilian car veered across a ditch and struck at least three members of a foot patrol.

    After the troops opened fire, the car went into the ditch and flipped over, killing the passenger and a nearby pedestrian and wounding two other civilians, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

    Civilian casualties caused by foreign troops have long been a source of tension between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western allies. They also anger Afghans, complicating efforts to win their support for a war that has brought only misery for most ordinary people.

    The incident is still being assessed, the statement added, but it comes in a sensitive area — the U.S. has poured troops into Kandahar to try to win back control of the Taliban stronghold and there has been bitter fighting in districts around the city — and at a sensitive time.

    The deaths come just days after the first of five U.S. soldiers charged with killing unarmed Afghan civilians was sentenced to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of premeditated murder.

    That case represents the most serious prosecution of alleged U.S. military atrocities during 10 years of war in Afghanistan.

    Rolling Stone and German magazine Der Spiegel recently published photos of two of the soldiers posing separately with the bloodied corpse of their young Afghan victim, whose head they were holding up by the hair.

    (Editing by Alan Raybould)

    2011-03-31 14:52:31

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