8 thoughts on “NATO kills Afghan children again

  1. Defence investigation into shooting of Afghan prisoner

    Dylan Welch, Tim Lester, Judith Ireland

    May 29, 2012

    THE Defence Department has opened an investigation into the shooting death of an insurgent in Afghanistan, with revelations an Australian special forces officer shot the man on the battlefield after capture.

    The admission was prompted by a series of News Limited articles stating the man had been killed during interrogation. This was denied by the Defence chief, General David Hurley, who directed officers last Wednesday to review the shooting. The Herald has established the man was shot after capture when he allegedly pulled a weapon on his captors.

    General Hurley also expressed regret over other News Limited revelations, including one that the bodies of three Australian soldiers killed in battle were placed upside down in caskets.

    It was also alleged medical equipment was removed from the caskets of seven Australian soldiers, that the remains of an insurgent who died in captivity were lost and that a local boy had been illegally detained.

    Speaking before a Senate estimates hearing yesterday, General Hurley said there was a ”significant discrepancy” between the facts established by the military and the News Limited articles.

    He did confirm the thrust of the articles – that on three occasions between 2008 and 2011 caskets were used upside down during part of the dead soldiers’ repatriations to Australia. The incidents have been the subject of an ADF inquiry since January.

    The articles were also greeted with anger by the family of one dead soldier. Alison Jones, the mother of Sergeant Brett Wood, who was killed in an explosion last year, said she was called on Sunday night by an officer who warned her the articles were about to appear.

    She found them distressing, having just commemorated the first anniversary of her son’s death. ”It’s just like a big hit in the face again. We just didn’t need it,” she said.

    Last night Defence denied the prisoner was killed during interrogation. ”At the time the insurgent was killed the incident was treated as a combat-related death,” a spokesman said. Defence said the death ”did not occur during … questioning”.

    Defence sources have told the Herald the Afghan man had been captured during an operation by Australia’s special forces unit operating in Uruzgan. He was being ”processed” by a special forces intelligence officer when he allegedly pulled some type of weapon – possibly a knife.



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