Five Afghan civilians, including four Afghan children, died during a joint Afghan-NATO raid Tuesday night in the the eastern Afghanistan province of Logar — adding to the 17,000 civilians killed during the 11-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. Coalition forces also killed 23 Taliban fighters and captured 26 others during the two-day operation. The Afghan defense ministry rejected […]
Five Afghan civilians, including four Afghan children, died during a joint Afghan-NATO raid Tuesday night in the the eastern Afghanistan province of Logar — adding to the 17,000 civilians killed during the 11-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.
Coalition forces also killed 23 Taliban fighters and captured 26 others during the two-day operation.
Afzal Aman, the Afghan defense ministry’s head of operations, claims that all those killed were combatants carrying weapons.
“We … do not accept the claim of civilian casualties. All those killed or detained were armed, but an investigation is occurring and it will become clear if there are any civilians among the dead,” he said.
Logar police official Rais Khan Seddiq confirmed that following the attack “two civilians were killed and three were wounded,” and that all those wounded had later died, including the four children.
The two-day operation ending in the Tuesday night raid in the province’s Baraki Barak district was allegedly carried out by Afghan commandos, assisted by international special forces. The mission was supposed to be a rescue operation of two Afghan soldiers captured the previous day by Taliban fighters.
The civilian deaths likely will undermine a tenuous trust U.S. forces have attempted to build with Afghan civilians in the fight to route the Taliban and terrorist forces.
The massacre Tuesday night follows an order by Afghan President Hamid Karzai late last month calling for a withdrawal of all US special forces from neighboring Wardak province.
Karzai issued the order in response to reports of torture and extrajudicial killings carried out by U.S. and allied Afghan forces. Locals in Wardak report that nine civilians are still missing, thought to be abducted by occupying forces.
The Afghan president later eased his demands but insisted that the United States confine its troops to major bases in Afghanistan by next year.
Tuesday’s attack likely will increase public urgency to leave Afghanistan by late 2014, President Obama’s tentative pullout date.
According to a March 2012 opinion poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News, 69 percent of U.S. citizens thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan.
This is in response to reports showing that hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have died as a result of recent U.S. wars in the Middle East and South Asia. According to the Brown University Costs of War Project, 330,000 people have been killed as a result of U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001. Roughly 201,000 of those killed have been civilians.