British soldiers accused of murdering Afghan teenagers

This video is called Axis of Willing ‘Liberation’ Has Afghanistan Decaying.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

British forces accused of killing four teenagers in Afghan operation

Boys were targeted at close range witnesses claim, as defence secretary asked to launch urgent inquiry

Richard Norton-Taylor and Nick Hopkins

Tuesday 4 December 2012 20.42 GMT

The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, has been asked to launch an urgent inquiry into claims that British forces led a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan during which a 12-year-old boy and three teenagers were shot dead while they were drinking tea.

Lawyers acting for the brother of two of the victims have written to Hammond describing an incident on 18 October in the village of Loi Bagh in Nad Ali, Helmand province, where British forces have been based since 2006.

According to statements given to the lawyers by other family members and witnesses, the operation involved Afghan and UK forces, but it was British soldiers – possibly special forces – who were said to have been in the lead.

“We submit that all of the victims were under the control and authority of the UK at the times of the deaths and ill-treatment,” states the letter to Hammond.

“The four boys killed all appear to have been deliberately targeted at close range by British forces. All were killed in a residential area over which UK forces clearly had the requisite degree of control and authority.”

The four victims are named as Fazel Mohammed, 18, Naik Mohammed, 16, Mohammed Tayeb, 14 and Ahmed Shah, 12.

Britain contributes soldiers to Nato’s International Security and Assistance Force (Isaf), which has already confirmed that an operation took place in the village on that date.

The incident has been reported in the Afghan media. Major Adam Wojack, a spokesman for Nato-led forces in Afghanistan, confirmed the “joint Afghan-coalition forces” operation in Nad Ali on 18 October. He said the result was the “killing of four Taliban enemies in action”. That claim is rejected by relatives of the victims.

Military sources also said it was unusual for UK forces to take the lead in operations of this kind because the Afghans are supposed to be in control as part of the transition process. The MoD said it would give the claims “full consideration before responding”.

According to a statement sent to Hammond on Tuesday by Tessa Gregory, lawyer for Noor Mohammad Noorzai, brother of two of the dead youths, the boys were “shot and killed at close range” in a family guesthouse. Gregory, of the law firm Public Interest Lawyers, obtained written sworn statements from witnesses in a visit to Afghanistan last month. They allege that British soldiers, who were engaged in a joint operation with Afghan forces, hooded some of those arrested despite a ban on the practice.

“The soldiers walked through the village calling at various houses asking to be told where the claimant’s brother Fazel Mohammed lived”, says Gregory’s statement. “It is alleged that the soldiers entered the house of a neighbour dragged him from his bed, hooded him and his son and beat them until under questioning they showed the soldiers the house of Fazel which was across the street.”

According to the document sent to Hammond, the families and neighbours “reject outright any suggestion that any of the four teenagers killed were in any way connected to the insurgency. All four were innocent teenagers who posed no threat whatsoever to Afghan or British forces”.

Gregory told the Guardian: “On 18 October 2012, during a joint British-Afghan security operation, four innocent Afghan teenagers were shot whilst drinking tea in their family’s mud home in Helmand province. Our client, the elder brother of two of the teenage victims, wants to know why this happened. As far as we are aware no investigation into these tragic deaths has taken place. We hope that in light of our urgent representations the Ministry of Defence will act swiftly to ensure that an effective and independent investigation is carried out without any further delay.”

In her statement to Hammond, Gregory says: “After the soldiers left, the claimant’s family and some neighbours entered the “guesthouse” where they found the bodies of the four teenagers lying in a line with their heads towards the doorway”.

The statement adds: “It was clear that the bodies had been dragged into that position and all had been shot in the head and neck region as they sat on the floor of the guesthouse leaning against the wall drinking tea..”

Gregory says the British soldiers involved in the operation are bound by the European Convention of Human Rights which enshrines the right to life and outlaws inhumane treatment. Unless the MoD could show it has carried out a full investigation, lawyers representing the victims’ families will ask the high court to order one.

9 thoughts on “British soldiers accused of murdering Afghan teenagers

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  6. Letters from our readers
    14 November 2013

    The ballad of Brigadier Bill
    by Don Franks

    (A royal marine murdered an injured insurgent in Afghanistan by shooting him in the chest at close range, a British court martial board found Friday.

    According to prosecutors, he told fellow soldiers to hush it up and acknowledged: “I just broke the Geneva Convention.”

    The board ruled that the commando, who can only be identified as Marine A, was guilty of killing the unnamed man in Helmand Province in September 2011.

    “It is a matter of profound regret in this isolated incident that one marine failed to apply his training and discharge his responsibilities,” Brigadier Bill Dunham, of the Royal Marines, said in a statement.

    “It was a truly shocking and appalling aberration. It should not have happened and it should never happen again.”)

    The Ballad of Brigadier Bill

    Brigadier Bill of the Royal Marines
    got up on a normal day
    the blackbird sang and postman called
    in the usual morning way
    Brigadier Bill carefully combed his hair
    not yet too thin or too grey

    Brigadier Bill of the Royal Marines
    showered and went down to eat his egg
    his loyal old sad eyed spaniel Spot
    rubbed puppy love down his leg
    Brigadier Bill opened his facebook page
    as Spot gazed up to beg

    Brigadier Bill of the Royal Marines
    had a horrible wake up call
    a royal marine under his command
    was not playing the game at all
    a trooper known as Marine A
    had taken his eyes off the ball.

    A trooper known as Marine A
    instead of using a drone
    or a heat seeking missile or hydrogen bomb
    had gone rogue on his own
    he’d shot some wog in the chest, not like
    the guns of Navarone

    This trooper, known as Marine A
    had broken the rules
    and the Geneva Convention
    he’d just killed a fellow earth dwelling chap
    with no protocol or pretention

    Brigadier Bill of the Royal Marines
    blushed to think of his code betrayed
    and this shocking aberration
    and how God would be dismayed

    “I hope this will never happen again”
    wept poor Royal Marine Brigadier Bill
    “Hiroshima was fine, but this crosses a line
    – there’s a right and wrong way to kill!”

    Don Franks
    New Zealand
    9 November 2013


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