NATO kills civilians, Afghans protest

This video from the USA is called US Forces Admit Killing Two Pregnant Afghan Women & Teenager.

From Associated Press:

Afghan protesters say NATO raid killed 4 civilians

Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 12:28 a.m.

Afghan officials say more than 1,000 people are protesting in a northern city against an overnight NATO raid that killed four. The protesters say those killed were civilians.

NATO says it killed four insurgents in the operation outside of Taloqan city in Takhar province. The coalition says the combined Afghan-NATO force was careful to ensure the safety of civilians.

But Takhar Gov. Abdul Jabar Taqwa says no one in his government was informed about the raid and that NATO acted unilaterally. Military and police officials could not be reached for comment.

During Wednesday’s protest in Taloqan, the demonstrators carried the bodies of the four dead – two women and two men – into the city. They shouted insults at the Afghan president and the U.S. as they went.

German soldiers and Afghan police fired on enraged citizens today as they rallied in the wake of a Nato attack that killed four civilians, slaying at least 12 protesters and wounding about 80: here.

At least a dozen Afghan civilians were shot to death and another 85 wounded in mass protests over a US-led night raid that killed four members of a family in the country’s northern Takhar province: here.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that 450 British troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan over the next nine months: here.

US alarmed by David Cameron’s push for early Afghanistan withdrawal: here.

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: “At home and abroad, whether judging by airline pilots or Washington’s war policy, Americans seem remarkably incapable of doing anything other than repeating the same self-defeating acts, as if they had never happened before. Hence Afghanistan. Almost 10 years after the Bush administration invaded Afghanistan and proclaimed victory, like imam-paralyzed airline pilots, we find ourselves in a state that might otherwise be achieved only if you mated deja vu with a Mobius strip. If you aren’t already bored to death, you should be. Because, believe me, you’ve read it all before. Take the last month of news from America’s second Afghan War. If nobody told you otherwise, you could easily believe that almost every breaking Afghan story in the last four weeks came from some previous year of the war”: here.

16 thoughts on “NATO kills civilians, Afghans protest

  1. 18.05.2011 10:15

    Afghans protest against alleged killing of civilians by NATO (UPDATE)

    previous news was posted at 10:15

    Some 2,000 Afghans in Taluqan city of Takhar province went to the street Wednesday to protest the alleged killing of four civilians by NATO-led troops, Xinhua reported.

    About 2,000 people staged a protest demonstration in Takhar’s provincial capital Taluqan city 245 km north of capital city Kabul Wednesday morning alleging that NATO-led troops killed four civilians including two women during a raid outside Taluqan city.

    Chanting anti-government and anti-NATO slogans, the protesters also brought the dead bodies to Governor House, calling on government to punish those responsible for the killing of non- combatant citizens.

    The protestors said that the troops had arrested two more civilians during the raid carried out on Golami village outside Taluqan city late Tuesday night.

    Provincial governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa told Xinhua that he had confirmed that three of those killed in the raid including two women. “Investigation is underway to find the fact behind the operation,” Taqwa told Xinhua.

    The protestors hurled stones at police and policemen have begun aerial firing.

    A protestor, who declined to give his name, said that several persons have injured due to firing by the police.

    Meantime, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement released here said all the four persons killed during the operation in Taluqan Tuesday night were armed insurgents.


  2. 6th Wash. soldier charged in Afghan murder plot

    The Associated Press

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | 3:04 p.m.

    Army prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against a sixth Washington state-based soldier in a plot to murder Afghan civilians for sport during patrols in Kandahar province last year.

    Staff Sgt. David Bram, of Vacaville, Calif., faces charges that include solicitation to commit premeditated murder, aggravated assault on Afghan nationals, failing to report crimes including murder, planting evidence and unlawfully discussing murder scenarios with subordinates.

    Prosecutors say the soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle, killed three Afghan civilians during patrols, in each case by finding isolated men, pretending they posed a threat, and slaughtering them with guns or grenades. They are accused of planting weapons by the bodies to give the appearance that the victims were combatants, and one soldier, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs of Billings, Mont., is accused of keeping fingers as war trophies.

    One of the defendants, Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, has pleaded guilty in a deal to testify against his co-defendants and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. The others are awaiting courts martial or other hearings; Gibbs maintains all the killings were legitimate.

    Army Maj. Kathleen Turner, a spokeswoman for the base, said she did not immediately have further details about the charges filed against Bram or know the identity of any civilian lawyer who might be representing him. Bram faces up to 21 years if convicted as charged.

    Bram referred questions to his attorney, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Bram, 27, had previously been among seven soldiers from the unit who faced misconduct charges unrelated to the killings, including allegations of beating up a soldier who blew the whistle on drug use by his colleagues.

    But in his plea agreement, Morlock claimed Bram’s involvement went beyond that. He told prosecutors that several times Bram overheard Gibbs discussing situations in which they might kill civilians, and moments before the first killing, on Jan. 15, 2010, Morlock asked Bram whether it was “clear” to stage the killing of an unarmed man in a field.

    “Bram communicated that it was clear to implement the scenario to kill the unarmed Afghan male,” the plea agreement reads.

    The plea agreement did not specify whether Morlock was asking for permission from Bram or asking him whether any possible witnesses were present.

    Defense attorneys have claimed that Morlock implicated other soldiers to curry favor with prosecutors and win a more favorable plea deal. They note that while Morlock claims two of the defendants, Spc. Michael Wagnon II, of Las Vegas, and Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Holmes, of Boise, Idaho, knowingly participated in two of the killings, no evidence has emerged publicly to corroborate his accounts.

    In each of the three killings, Morlock or Gibbs is accused of killing the civilians while being supported by one of the other defendants.

    Both Holmes and Wagnon insist they fired while rushing to help colleagues they believed to be under enemy fire. A military investigator recommended dropping the murder charge against Wagnon, and Holmes this week was granted a new preliminary hearing after a forensic expert testified that his weapon did not cause the death of the man he’s accused of killing.

    The other defendant in the case is Spc. Adam Winfield of Cape Coral, Fla.


  3. US military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,468

    Posted: May 17, 2011 5:52 PM Updated: May 17, 2011 5:52 PM

    By The Associated Press

    As of Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at least 1,468 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

    The AP count is two more than the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

    At least 1,213 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

    Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 99 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.

    The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is two fewer than the department’s tally.

    The Defense Department also counts two military civilian deaths.

    Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 11,411 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department.


    The latest identifications reported by the military:

    -Sgt. Amaru Aguilar, 26, of Miami, Fla.; died May 13 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit encountered small arms fire; assigned to the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

    -Two Marines died May 12 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan; killed where Sgt. Kevin B. Balduf, 27, of Nashville, Tenn.; assigned to 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Lt. Col. Benjamin J. Palmer, 43, of Modesto, Calif., assigned to Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Cherry Point, N.C.

    -1st Lt. Demetrius M. Frison, 26, of Lancaster, Pa.; died May 10 in Khost province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.

    – Sgt. Ken K. Hermogino, 30, of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; died May 9 in Herat province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a noncombat-related vehicle accident; assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.



    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


  4. Australian soldiers may face more charges over alleged manslaughter in Afghanistan

    From: AAP
    May 18, 2011 4:29PM

    EVIDENCE shows two Army Reserve soldiers charged with manslaughter in Afghanistan knew civilians were present during an operation, a judge advocate has been told.

    The two accused Army Reserve soldiers had a duty of care to civilians during the February 2009 operation, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Berkley for the prosecution told a pre-trial hearing in Sydney today.

    Judge Advocate Brigadier Ian Westwood is conducting a hearing on pre-trial issues relating to the men’s court martial, which has been set down for July 11 in Sydney.

    The charges relate to a February 12, 2009 incident, when members of the Special Operations Task Group, operating in Oruzgan Province, undertook a compound clearance operation.

    Six civilians, including five children, were killed as a result of the operation.

    The prosecution has proposed increasing the charges against the accused to five counts of manslaughter, to account for the deaths of five children killed during the operation.

    Related Coverage

    Soldiers face charges over civilian deaths The Australian, 1 day ago
    Troops will break law, Colonel says Adelaide Now, 15 Apr 2011
    Defence argues for silence Courier Mail, 29 Mar 2011
    Secrecy warning in court martial Adelaide Now, 28 Mar 2011
    Soldiers to face July court martial The Australian, 28 Mar 2011

    End of sidebar.

    The Army Reserve soldiers, identified only as Sergeant J and Lance Corporal D by order of the judge advocate, have been charged with manslaughter and, in the alternative, with two counts of dangerous conduct, with negligence as to consequence.

    The prosecution has argued the charges against the accused should be increased, “while making clear they arise out of one act”.

    The charges do not relate to the death of a man who exchanged fire with the soldiers.

    Judge Advocate Westwood heard the soldiers had entered the compound with the task of looking for a weapons cache, when there was an exchange of fire with an Afghan national.

    Lt Col Berkley said there was evidence the accused “did know civilians were there and did appreciate the likelihood” they were in the building at the time of the operation.

    By engaging with the Afghan national, the accused “created danger to the civilians and gave rise to a duty of care to them at common law”, Lt Col Berkley argued.

    Lt Col Berkley submitted a duty of care to civilians during armed combat could also be extracted from the military rules of engagement.

    However, he noted it was difficult to find comparable cases concerning the duty of care on the battlefield.

    “This case we are currently involved in is apparently the first case of its type in our history,” he said.

    The hearing is continuing.


  5. 35 mins ago

    KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AFP) – At least 11 people were killed and more than 50 others injured on Wednesday in violent Afghan demonstrations over the deaths of four people in a NATO raid, an official said.

    “Now we have 11 dead and over 50 other people admitted with injuries to hospital,” acting provincial health director, Hassan Basij, told AFP.

    Police opened fire at the demonstrations in Taloqan, capital of the northeastern Takhar province, after NATO-led forces said they killed four insurgents including two armed women in an overnight raid in the town.

    A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul said the house was used as a base by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a militant group that operates from bases including in Afghanistan.

    But the protesters said those killed during the NATO raid were civilians.

    It was not immediately clear whether those who died at the demonstrations were killed by police bullets or those from another source.

    Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a regional police spokesman, blamed “some opportunists and violence-seeking elements” for infiltrating the protests and turning them violent.

    Interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP in Kabul: “There have been demonstrations, about 2,000 have demonstrated over the operation overnight. The demonstrations have turned violent.”

    Bashary said initially that three people had died and about 14 others, eight of them police, were injured as a result of gunshots.

    Both officials said that it was unclear who had opened fire.

    Although relatively peaceful compared to Taliban strongholds in the south, the north of Afghanistan has seen violence increase in recent years.


  6. Afghan dies in apparent suicide at Guantanamo

    Posted: May 19, 2011 3:23 AM Updated: May 19, 2011 10:24 AM

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – An Afghan detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison died Wednesday in an apparent suicide, the U.S. military said.

    The prisoner, known only by the name Inayatullah, was not conscious or breathing when guards checked on him in the morning, and they immediately tried to resuscitate him, U.S. Southern Command said in a statement.

    “After extensive lifesaving measures had been exhausted, the detainee was pronounced dead by a physician,” the statement said.

    The apparent suicide was under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is standard practice for the death of a detainee at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba, said spokesman Bob Appin said in a phone interview from Miami.

    Navy Lt. Cmdr. Heidi Lenzini said the military would not immediately disclose any details about the circumstances of the death, including the method of the apparent suicide or in which section of Guantanamo the prisoner was detained. There are about 170 men held at Guantanamo, most on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.

    Inayatullah had been held without charge at Guantanamo since September 2007. The military said he was an admitted planner for al Qaida terrorist operations, and acknowledged facilitating the movement of foreign fighters. Inayatullah met with local operatives, developed travel routes and coordinated documentation, accommodation and vehicles for smuggling al-Qaida militants through Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq, according to the statement.

    His remains would be treated with respect for Islamic culture and traditions with the assistance of a cultural adviser, the military said, with his body being be sent to Afghanistan after an autopsy.

    He is the eighth prisoner to die at the detention center since January 2002, when the U.S. began using the U.S. Navy base to hold captured detainees. Five of the deaths were declared suicides. Two others were from apparently natural causes, including a 48-year-old Afghan who collapsed and died while exercising in February. Inayatullah is the eighth.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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