By Voices Co-coordinators
Since April of 2009, Co-coordinators at Voices have maintained an Afghan Atrocities list by monitoring the news media and keeping track of instances where the US government or ISAF have admitted to killing civilians in Afghanistan. We are grateful to our student interns who converted this data into a visual format. We ask these questions: Why has ISAF consistently pursued a nationwide policy in Afghanistan which has led to increased civilian casualties and is likely to stir up further resistance and violence? Even as the Obama administration talks about withdrawing in 2014, is there is an unspoken interest in destabilizing the country to provide an excuse for a continued military, diplomatic and contractor presence?
Our sources for the Afghan Atrocities Timetable have come only from mainstream news outlets or from instances where civilian casualties were admitted. The data does not address the hypocrisy of the Obama administration’s policy of counting all military aged men as insurgents unless they are posthumously proved innocent nor the likely cover-up of incidents that were never reported in the mainstream media. Furthermore, during the period included in the timetable, Gen. John Allen of the US Army admitted to ISAF having conducted as many as 2200 night raids within one year. Given the frequency of night raids and the lack of transparency involved in such operations, the number of civilian casualties may be much higher than the official figures. We also did not include statistics from human rights organizations about the number of prisoners who may have died while in ISAF custody at prisons such as the facility at Bagram Air Force Base.
Date: April 14, 2014
Location: Nadir Shah Kot district, Khost Province
Circumstances: A U.S. air strike on a place where a family was gathered in eastern Afghanistan killed one man, one woman and two children, according to a statement from the Afghan government.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: As of April 15, ISAF said it would undertake an investigation.
Date: January 15, 2014
Location: Siah Gird District, Parwan Province
Circumstances: “As a result of [air] bombardment by American forces… in Siah Gird district of Parwan province, one woman and seven children were [killed] and one civilian injured,” a statement from Karzai’s office said. Note: As of January 18, an Afghan investigation is putting the fatality count at 14 civilians, including an undisclosed number of small children (KP).
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said it was “aware of reports that at least two civilians were inadvertently killed today during an Afghan-led joint operation in Ghorband (Siah Gird) District”. They added that one ISAF soldier was killed in the fighting, as well as at least 10 insurgents.
Source: (AFP) http://news.yahoo.com/afghan-president-accuses-us-killing-8-civilians-airstrike-163231353.html
Date: January 8, 2014
Location: Greshk District, Helmand Province
Circumstances: U.S. forces have accidentally shot dead a 4-year-old boy. A spokesman for the governor of Helmand Province, Omar Zwak, said on January 10 that U.S. Marines mistakenly shot the boy because visibility was poor.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: Reuters quotes a spokesman for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan as saying the matter would be investigated and that all possible measures are taken to avoid civilian casualties.
Date: November 28, 2013
Location: Garmsir district, Helmand Province
Circumstances: A U.S. coalition spokesperson confirmed that a drone strike killed one child and severely wounded two women. The New York Times reports that the civilian victims were on a road when they were killed. “The drones were military,” according to the article, “but in keeping with its standard practice, the coalition did not identify which country they belonged to. Both the United States and Britain are believed to have drones operating in Helmand Province.”
Date: October 4, 2013
Location: Nangarhar Province, Saracha area east of Jalalabad
Circumstances: Agence France Presse reports that A NATO airstrike killed at least five civilians, including three children, while they were out hunting birds, according to the provincial police spokesperson, Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, whose report was confirmed by Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a provincial spokesperson.
Those who were killed were aged between 12 and 20; Mohammad Atif Shinwari of the Nangarhar education department said that three of the civilians killed in the airstrike were school children and two were brothers.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: Lieutenant Colonel Will Griffin told AP news agency that the attack was a “precision coordinated strike: and there were no civilian casualties in their initial reports.
Date: September 7, 2013
Location: Watarpur district, Kunar province
Circumstances: According to a September 8, 2013 Reuters report, Kunar police chief Abdul Habib Sayed Khil and provincial governor Shuja ul Mulk Jalala said that a NATO airstrike killed at least eight civilians, including three women and four children.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: A spokeswoman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), First Lieutenant AnnMarie Annicelli, confirmed that ISAF undertook a precision strike in Watarpur district of Kunar and that 10 “enemy forces” were killed. She said they had received no reports of civilian casualties.
Date: June 6, 2013
Place: Kunar Province, Dari-i-Pech district
Circumstances: The governor of an eastern Afghan province alleges that an overnight NATO drone airstrike killed three civilians and wounded seven.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: The U.S.-led alliance says it has no operational reporting to support the allegation.
Date: April 10, 2013
Place: Herat Province, on the Kabul-Herat Highway in the Adraskan district
Circumstances: According to an April 10 UPI report, “at least one Afghan civilian died and another was injured Wednesday when U.S. troops attacked a civilian bus in Herat province.” A report in the Khaama Press stated that the bus had gotten close to a convoy of U.S. troops while traveling on the Kabul-Herat highway.
Date: April 7, 2013
Place: Shigal District of Kunar Province
Update: Associated Press reports that “an Afghan investigation…raised the civilian death toll…to 17, including 12 children, four women and one innocent man. An American civilian adviser was also killed during the fighting.”
Circumstances: Eleven children and four women were killed by a NATO airstrike on houses in the Shigal District. Mohammad Zahir Safai, the Shigal district chief, said the woman and the children were killed when the houses collapsed on them. A Reuters journalist saw bodies of 11 children when they were taken to Safai’s office in protest by their families and other villagers on Sunday.
NATO/ISAF response: Captain Luca Carniel, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said they were aware of reports of civilian casualties and were assessing the incident.
Date: March 30, 2013
Place: Ghazni district, Ghazni province
Circumstances: Senior police detective Colonel Mohammad Hussain said one school-age child and nine Taliban were killed in the air strike.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: “We take all allegations of civilian casualties seriously. Afghan and ISAF officials are assessing the incident.”
Date: March 26, 2013
Place: Sejewand village of the Logar province
Circumstances: Reuters reports that Afghan and international special forces staged a night raid in the Sejewand village of the Logar province in which five civilians died, four of whom were children.
The Afghan defense ministry said there were no civilian deaths. Reuters television footage taken in the village showed the bodies of three children.
Date: March 11, 2013
Place: Between Kabul and Bagram
Circumstances: In the convoy shooting, U.S. forces spokesman Jamie Graybeal said the Afghan driver failed to heed instructions to stop as his truck came close to the American convoy near Kabul. “The convoy took appropriate measures to protect themselves and engaged the vehicle, killing two individuals and injuring one,” Graybeal said in an email. He said an assessment is underway. Associated Press video shows a U.S. major cursing at one of his soldiers and slapping him over the head with his cap as Afghans pulled dead bodies from the truck. In the video, the major appears to be upbraiding the soldier for not using a laser warning device to signal the approaching truck.
The two dead men were employees of a company that repairs police vehicles, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi. Another man was wounded in the shooting, said Col. Mohammad Alim, the police commander overseeing Kabul highways.
Date: February 28, 2013
Place: Lowar-e-Dowahom, Shahid-e-Hasas district, Uruzgan province
Circumstances: NATO said its forces had accidentally shot dead two Afghan boys. U.S. General Joseph Dunford offered his personal apologies to the families.
Date: February 13, 2012
Place: Chawgam Village, Shigal District, Kunar Province
Circumstances: At least 10 civilians, 5 of them children and 4 adult women, were killed in air strikes carried out by NATO forces on two separate houses in the village. An additional 5 children were badly wounded in the blasts. Some local officials are also claiming that 3-5 Taliban fighters were killed in the strikes.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: They are “looking into the circumstances” of the incident.
Date: February 12, 2013
Place: Spin Boldak district, Kandahar Province
Circumstances: During daylight hours on a heavily traveled highway, NATO-led forces opened fire on an oncoming car because it failed to stop when signaled to do so. One civilian died in the gunfire, 3 more civilians were injured.
Date: December 7, 2012
Place: Sherzad District of Nangarhar Province
Circumstances: NATO has admitted killing three Afghan civilians during an unspecified military operation at a wedding in which they arrested 7 insurgents. Afghan official sources accused NATO of killing at least 5 civilians.
Date: December 6, 2012
Place: Nuristan Province
Circumstances: Five civilians, all members of the same family, were killed in an ISAF bombing, according to local authorities.
Date: November 12, 2012
Place: Baraki Barak District of Central Logar Province
Circumstances: Three civilians were killed during an ISAF drone strike in the Baraki Barak district of central Logar province on Monday, residents and the provincial council head said. The boys, all below the age of 16, were working on their carrot farm. Village elders later took their bodies to the governor’s office as a mark of protest.
Date: October 29, 2012
Place: Qalai-i-Qazi area of Ghazni Province
Circumstances: An Afghan special forces unit along with NATO forces killed three civilian bystanders in a night raid. Villagers at the funeral of the civilians told reporters that the civiians included a farmer, his wife and their 14-year-old son.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: NATO said in an announcement that the raid targeted a Taliban leader and that the force was attacked by insurgents carrying assault rifles and returned fire, killing a number of them. It did not mention the number of Taliban killed or civilians.
Date: October 20, 2012
Place: Baraki Barak District of Logar Province
Circumstances: A NATO airstrike killed four children, according to a Reuters report. The children were said to be tending livestock.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: A spokeswoman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it was aware of possible ISAF-related civilian casualties from the October 20 operation. On Wednesday, October 23rd, the New York Times reported that international forces apologized for the deaths of the four children.
Date: October 15, 2012
Place: Nawa District, Helmand Province
Circumstances: Afghan officials said Monday that a NATO air strike killed three children while it was targeting Taliban insurgents planting mines on a road in southern Afghanistan.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed an air strike in Helmand province’s Nawa district on Sunday, saying that three insurgents died and it was investigating reports that children were also killed. (AFP)
Date: September 16, 2012
Place: Alingar District, Laghman Province
Circumstances: A NATO airstrike killed eight women, according to an Agence France Press report. Eight more were wounded. The women were said to have been out on the mountain collecting firewood.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: NATO’s U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) initially said it had called in an air strike against about 45 insurgents in Laghman “after positively identifying hostile intent” and that “a large number of the insurgents” were killed. Later, Major Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the ISAF international forces, said ISAF had been made aware of “possible ISAF-caused civilian casualties” numbering five to eight, extending its sincerest condolences over the “tragic loss of life”.(BBC)
Date: July 2, 2012
Place: Charkh District, Logar Province
Circumstances: An Afghan provincial spokesman Din Mohammad Darwesh says a NATO airstrike has killed three civilian shopkeepers in the east of the country.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: A spokesman for the coalition says initial reports of the strike do not suggest any civilian deaths.
Date: June 6, 2012
Place: Logar province, Baraki Barak district
Circumstances: NATO soldiers ordered an airstrike on a house in Sajawand village leaving 18 civilians dead, including four women, two old men, three teenage boys and nine young children
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: On June 6, NATO confirmed the deaths of “multiple insurgents” but reported no civilian fatalities. On June 8, General John Allen flew to the village to apologize to the families. “I know that no apology can bring back the lives of the children or the people who perished in this tragedy and this accident, but I want you to know that you have my apology and we will do the right thing by the families.”
Date: May 27, 2012
Place: Paktia province, Gerda Serai district
Circumstances: A drone strike killed four teenage boys, two teenage girls, and two women, and wounded two others.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: The coalition was looking into the alleged incident, but “so far had seen no evidence of civilian casualties”.
Date: May 8, 2012
Place: Bala Murghab district, Badghis province
Circumstances: Reports from the Bala Murghab district of the northwestern Badghis province state Sunday, that NATO airstrike’s killed as many as 14 civilians. Badghis provincial governor Dilbar Jan Arman says that there were multiple civilian deaths, but no exact number has emerged.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: A spokesman for NATO-led troops in Kabul said the coalition was aware of the allegations of civilian casualties in the provinces.
Date: May 7, 2012
Place: Sangin district of Helmand province
Circumstances: Six civilians were killed as aircrafts of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) targeted a suspected hideout of Taliban militants. The victims, according to the statement, include two boys, three girls and a woman, all from same family.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: A spokesman for the United States military in Helmand, Lt. Col. Stewart Upton, said, “We don’t have any issues with the governor’s statement.” He said American officials had been aware of the deaths and had immediately started an investigation.
Date: March 16, 2012
Place: Hassian Khail, Bagrami district of Kabul
Circumstances: An ISAF military helicopter crashed into a house, killing all soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground. The Afghan ministry reports that two of the civilians were young girls.
The vast majority of Afghans want ISAF troops to leave. When ISAF insists on keeping troops and helicopters in the country, and particularly in civilian areas, any resulting civilian death, accidental or not, constitutes more than negligence. It is an act of aggression to compel a population to live under conditions of heightened risk.
NATO/ISAF Response/Acknowledgement: Commander of ISAF, Gen. John R. Allen, said, “my deepest sympathies go out to the families of these ISAF service members and the Afghan civilians who died as a result of this unfortunate incident.”
NATO/ISAF have not paid and show no intention of paying compensation to the family or to the community.
Date: March 11, 2012
Place: Panjway district of Kandahar
Circumstances: A United States service member walked out of a military base in and opened fire on three nearby houses, killing at least 16 civilians, including 3 women and 9 children. At least five people were wounded. There were conflicting reports of how many shooters were involved, with U.S. officials asserting that a lone soldier was responsible, in contrast to witnesses’ accounts that several U.S. soldiers were present. Neighbors and relatives of the dead said they had seen a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district at about 2 a.m., enter homes and open fire. Later, Reuters quoted a witness who said the soldiers then “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.”
US/NATO Response/Acknowledgement: NATO officials apologized for the shootings but did not confirm that anyone was killed, referring instead to reports of deaths. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said an investigation was under way and that “the individual or individuals responsible for this act will be identified and brought to justice.”
Date: March 9, 2012
Circumstances: Four Afghans were killed and three wounded when NATO/ISAF coalition helicopters apparently hunting Taliban insurgents fired instead on villagers, according to Abdul Hakim Akhondzada, governor of Tagab district in Kapisa.
US/NATO Response/Acknowledgement: none
Date: February 9, 2012
Place: Najrab district, Eastern Kapisa province.
Circumstances: Mehrabuddin Safi, the governor of Kapisa, said a coalition air strike late on Wednesday killed eight children in Giawa village. Other Afghan officials had earlier said the strike followed a night raid on suspected insurgents.
US/NATO Initial Response/Acknowledgement: “The aircraft dropped two bombs on the group that we believed to be an imminent threat to our people,” Boone told reporters in Kabul. “Despite all tactical directives being followed precisely, we now know the unfortunate result of this engagement. In the end, eight young Afghans lost their lives in this very sad event.” — Army Brig. Gen. Lewis Boone, director of public affairs
Date: January 16, 2012
Place: Chawkay district, Kunar province
Circumstances: The governor of Kunar province said that during a night raid on January 16, NATO forces killed 5 civilians during a “kill-and-capture raid” as coalition helicopters fired into a compound. Among the 5 were 1 woman and 2 children.
US/NATO Initial Response/Acknowledgement: On Wednesday, January 18, NATO issued a statement stating that they were aware of a military operation in the Chawkay district of Kunar province on Monday and were checking into the report.
Date November 23, 2011
Place Zhare district, Kandahar Province
Circumstances Six children were among seven civilians killed in a NATO airstrike in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Thursday. The deaths occurred on Wednesday in the Zhare district of Kandahar Province, an area described by coalition forces as largely pacified in recent months, and two insurgents were also killed, the Afghan officials said.
U.S. Nato Initial/acknowledgement A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, Master Sgt. Christopher DeWitt, said the authorities were aware of the strike and had sent a team to the district to investigate. He said the assistance force had not previously issued a news release on the deaths.
Date August 25, 2011
Place Baraki Barak district, Logar Province
Circumstances Another NATO air strike has killed a number of civilians today in the Logar Province. The attack, which took place shortly after midnight, came after a clash between NATO troops on the ground and Taliban in the Baraki Barak District, and left six civilians dead. This latest attack came after the firefight with Taliban but was termed a “retaliation” attack. That the attack retaliated against a civilian home and killed an entire family appears to them only a minor detail.
U.S. NATO Initial/acknowledgement NATO confirmed the attack but said they could not confirm the death toll. They did, however, say foreign forces were “looking into the matter,” while insisting that NATO is taking every measure possible to prevent civilian deaths.
Date August 6, 2011
Place Nad Ali district, Wardak Province
Circumstances “In the southern Helmand province, an Afghan government official said that NATO troops attacked a house and inadvertently killed eight members of a family, including women and children.” The killing occurred during a battle between NATO forces and insurgents when NATO called an airstrike on the house where the family lived.
U.S. NATO Initial/acknowledgement NATO said that Taliban fighters fired rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire at coalition troops during a patrol Friday in the Nad Ali district. “Coalition forces responded with small arms fire and as the incident continued, an air strike was employed against the insurgent position,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a NATO spokesman. He added that NATO sent a delegation to meet with local leaders and investigate the incident.”
Date July 28, 2011
Place Singin district of Uruzgan province
Circumstances Originally ISAF/NATO forces said he was killed during an attack by insurgents on government buildings in Tarin Kot, in the southern province of Uruzgan, while hiding inside an office of the Radio Television of Afghanistan. Khpalwak is the third Pajhwok, a local news agency, journalist to have been killed since 2008, the agency said.
U.S. NATO Initial response/acknowledgement NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan admitted September 7, 2011 that an Afghan journalist originally thought to have been killed by insurgents in Uruzgan province had in fact been killed by an international soldier in a case of mistaken identity. “Mr Khpalwak was shot by an ISAF member who believed he was an insurgent that posed a threat and was about to detonate a suicide-vest IED,” NATO said in a statement late September 8, 2011.
Date July 26, 2011
Place Kapisa Province
Circumstances “President Karzai has condemned the killing by Nato troops of three civilians travelling in a car in Kapisa province, north of Kabul.”,br/>
U.S. NATO Initial/acknowledgement “The dead included a pregnant woman and a child. French soldiers opened fire on their vehicle late on Tuesday when it did not stop as it approached them, Nato said. French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet expressed “deep sorrow” over the deaths but said the soldiers had acted in self defence as the car had failed to stop despite repeated warnings.”
Date July 12, 2011
Place Azra district of Logar province
Circumstances The International News reports that a NATO air strike left up to 12 civilians dead in eastern Afghanistan and quotes police chief Bakhtiar Gul saying that “Twelve civilians, including women and children, were killed last night when NATO planes targeted two houses.” He added that the bodies of four Taliban insurgents had been recovered from the rubble. Provincial spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish said only that an “unknown” number of civilians were killed, along with seven Taliban.
U.S. NATO Initial response/acknowledgement NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said they had killed “numerous” insurgents in the strike.
Date July 6, 2011
Place Ghazni Province
Circumstances “ISAF said it was looking into allegations by Afghan residents that one of its air strikes had killed two young shepherds in Ghazni, a restive province southwest of Kabul. Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday to protest about the deaths of the two young shepherds they said were killed by foreign forces.”
U.S. NATO Initial response “ISAF said it had carried out an air raid in Khogyani district in Ghazni but that only one insurgent had been killed who had been planting a bomb. “Although operational reporting indicates that only the insurgent targeted was killed, ISAF takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and, in conjunction with the Afghan government, makes every effort to address them,” ISAF said in a statement. It said it had launched an investigation into the incident together with the Afghan Interior Ministry.” http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/07/07/uk-afghanistan-violence-idUKTRE7662S520110707
Date July 5, 2011
Place Shamal district, Khost province
Circumstances “The NATO-led force in Afghanistan said Thursday it had accidentally killed a number of civilians in an air strike earlier this week. Eleven people, including four insurgents, were killed in the air strike Tuesday night in the Shamal district of eastern Khost province, prompting angry street protests, said police chief Sarder Zazai.”
U.S. NATO Initial response/acknowledgement “A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)said the air strike had killed “several” insurgents but that “a number of associated family members” had also been accidentally killed. “At the time it was unknown to the security forces that those insurgents were operating among women and children,” The ISAF spokesman said, adding it was unclear how many insurgents and civilians had been killed. The deaths sparked a protest by several hundred Afghans, who burnt an unknown effigy, in Sayed Khel village in the Shamal district Thursday.” http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/07/07/uk-afghanistan-violence-idUKTRE7662S520110707
Date: May 29, 2011
Place: Helmand Province
Circumstances: “An air strike called in by NATO-led troops in southern Afghanistan killed 12 children and two women, Afghan officials said on Sunday, one of the worst civilian death tolls by foreign forces in months. A U.S. Marine base came under fire from insurgents in Taliban stronghold of Helmand on Saturday, the Helmand governor said in a statement, leading the base to call for help from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). “ISAF’s air strike took place on two civilian houses. Unfortunately 14 innocent civilians were killed and six civilians wounded,” the Helmand governor’s statement said. It said seven boys, five girls and two women were among the dead. Three children were among the six wounded, it said.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “An ISAF spokesman in Kabul said: “We are aware of the reports that alleged civilians were killed yesterday in Helmand.” He said an assessment team had been sent to the area and would issue its findings shortly.” http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE74S0M720110529
Date: May 15, 2011
Place: Eastern Kunar Province, Ghazi Abad District
Circumstances: According to Reuters “Faziullah Wahidi, governor of Kunar, said a group of girls had been collecting firewood near an insurgent hideout and were struck when ISAF troops that had come under attack returned fire. A 10-year-old girl was killed and four others wounded. The artillery fired by the ISAF convoy hit the girls who were close to the insurgents.”
US/NATO initial response: “The varying claims of civilian casualties around this incident are the reason ISAF is looking into this,” said U.S. Army Col. Hans E. Bush, chief of ISAF Joint Command Public Affairs. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/16/us-afghanistan-civilian-deaths-idUSTRE74F31G20110516
Date: May 14, 2011
Place: Western Nangahar Province in the Hesarak District
Circumstances: According to the New York Times (May 14, 2011), the district governor, Abdul Khalid was concerned about the possibility of an attack by the Taliban on the government center and called the local Afghan security forces. “At the same time, there was a raid, he said. ‘American forces did an operation and mistakenly killed a fourth-grade student; he had gone to sleep in his field and had a shotgun next to him, he said.’ The local residents told the reporter that the boy was 15 years old, but in a lower grade because he was unable to attend school regularly.
“People keep shotguns with them for hunting, not for any other purposes,” Mr. Khalid said. More than 200 villagers protested the boy’s death, marching with his body to the district center and the police killed a 14-year-old boy and another person was wounded according to Mr. Khalid during the protest.
U.S./NATO initial response/acknowledgement: A NATO spokesman apologized for the child’s death. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/world/asia/15afghan.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print
Date: May 12, 2011
Place: Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province
Circumstances: According to the New York Times, (May 13, 2011), a 12-year-old girl, Nelofar, was sleeping outside with her family early in the morning on May 12. “A raid by NATO troops singled out the wrong house, and she was killed along with her uncle, who was the target of the raid, because he was incorrectly believed to be a local Taliban leader. NATO apologized for its error.”
“My daughter, who was sleeping with us in the courtyard, was hit by the bomb’s shrapnel in her head,” aid Mr. Mohammed, a survivor of the attack, “and she died on the spot.”
U.S./NATO initial response/acknowledgement: NATO had issued a May 12 statement saying that she had been shot. “An individual ran out the back of the compound toward the outer security perimeter and was killed when the security force mistakenly identified what they suspected was a weapon on the individual,” it said. “Later, the force discovered the individual was an unarmed Afghan female adolescent.”
The uncle, Shukrullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, was a police officer; he had recently been transferred to Surkhrod District, where the raid occurred. He was 25 and had a wife and two daughters, said Mr. Mohammed, who was his brother-in-law and in whose home he was staying.
Rear Adm. Harold Pittman, NATO’s deputy chief of staff for communications, apologized for the deaths.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/world/asia/13afghan.html?emc=eta1
Date: April 20, 2011
Place: Kunar province
Circumstances: “Local officials in the Dangam District of Afghanistan’s restive Kunar Province have confirmed that at least three civilians were killed in an overnight air strike by NATO warplanes. The strike targeted a gathering of “suspected militants” but also killed civilians in the house. The Provincial Governor said that the strike killed 17 people in total, and that two civilian women and a child were slain in the strike.” http://news.antiwar.com/2011/04/20/officials-nato-air-strike-kills-at-least-three-afghan-civilians/
U.S. NATO Initial response: “NATO confirmed the attack but said it was still investigating exactly who was killed.”http://news.antiwar.com/2011/04/20/officials-nato-air-strike-kills-at-least-three-afghan-civilians/
Date: April 6, 2011
Circumstances: a spokesman for the Kabul Police Chief said, “British troops killed two Afghan civilians in a car accident in western Kabul and shot dead a third man when local people tried to prevent them leaving the scene of the accident. According to the spokesman “A British military vehicle killed two women in a road accident and when people tried stop them (leaving), they shot and killed another man.” He said the shooting also wounded a child who was in the area.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “An International Security Assistance Force three-vehicle convoy was involved in an accident in Kabul today in which one Afghan civilian was killed and two wounded, according to initial reporting. No shots were fired by ISAF service members.”
Date: April 5, 2011
Place: Sar-e Pul province
Circumstances: “NATO troops killed six civilians during a night raid on a house in northern Afghanistan’s Sar-e Pul province late, the provincial governor told Reuters.” “NATO troops descended from a helicopter, killing six innocent men and detained four,” the governor of the province said.
U.S. NATO Initial response: “The NATO-led force said soldiers on a joint operation with Afghan troops had killed five men who were armed and opened fire on them. They are investigating the identity of the dead men, a spokesman said.”
Date: March 31, 2011
Place: Kandahar province
Circumstances: “According to reports, NATO troops opened fire into traffic in Kandahar after a civilian car’s brakes failed near a checkpoint, which they assumed was a suicide attack. The hail of NATO bullets killed two teenage boys and wounded at least two others.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “NATO-led forces said they had opened fire in self-defense 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.”
Date: March 25, 2011
Place: Helmand province
Circumstances: “A NATO airstrike targeting Taliban fighters Friday accidentally killed seven civilians, including three children, in the southern province of Helmand, one of the most insecure regions in the country, Afghan officials said. Afghan officials in Helmand said the dead included two men, two women and three children. Three more children and two adults were wounded, the Helmand governor’s office said in a statement late Saturday.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “NATO officials are investigating the episode. It occurred in the Now Zad district when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force called in an airstrike on two vehicles believed to be carrying a Taliban leader and his associates. A NATO team assessing the damage discovered the civilians after the airstrike. NATO officials have not disclosed how many civilians were killed and wounded, and did not say whether suspected Taliban were among the casualties.”
NATO acknowledgement “A British Reaper drone has killed at least four civilians and wounded two others in an attack in the Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, the first time British Drones are confirmed to have killed civilians in the nation. The attack reportedly targeted “insurgent leaders” in the restive province, and British military officials insist that the killings are a result of “intelligence failures” and not any problem with the drone fleet, which they hope to dramatically increase the size of. Incredibly, the attack came three months ago, in late March, and targeted a pair of pick up trucks. It is only now that the killings have become public knowledge and Britain expressed “deep regret” over the deaths.” http://news.antiwar.com/2011/07/05/british-drone-kills-four-afghan-civilians-in-helmand/
Date: March 23, 2011
Place: Khost province
Circumstances: “A NATO helicopter gunship inadvertently killed two civilians while attacking suspected insurgents in the eastern province of Khost, NATO announced Thursday. Khost provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai said at least one of the civilians was a child.” http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014585790_apasafghanistan.html
U.S. NATO Initial/acknowledgement: “The attack targeted a Haqqani network leader in Tere Zayi district on Wednesday, according to NATO. At the time of the strike, two civilians were walking near the moving targeted vehicle, NATO said. They were previously unseen by coalition forces prior to the initiation of the airstrike. Unfortunately both were killed as an unintended result of the strike.”
Date: March 9, 2011
Place: Kandahar province
Circumstances: “A relative of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been mistakenly killed by Nato troops in southern Afghanistan, officials say.” “The raid occurred in the southern province of Kandahar, in the rural village of Karz, the Karzai clan’s ancestral home. The slain man was Yar Mohammed Karzai, 60, a lifelong resident of the village. The death was confirmed by the president’s half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the chairman of Kandahar Province’s provincial council, who said the killing was a mistake.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “A NATO spokesman said the force was “aware of conflicting reports about the identities of those involved and has initiated an inquiry to determine the facts.”
Date: March 1st, 2011
Place: Kunar province
Circumstances: “Nine children were killed during a fresh air raid by foreign troops in Manogai district of eastern Kunar province on Tuesday, residents claimed. The dead were children, aged between 10 and 15, who were collecting firewood in the remote valley, resident Gul Nabi told Pajhwok Afghan News. He feared the death toll could be higher.”
U.S. NATO Acknowledgement: “Preliminary findings from a Joint Incident Assessment Team indicate that International Security Assistance Forces accidentally killed nine civilians in Darah-Ye Pech district, Kunar province yesterday. The incident occurred following insurgent rocket attacks on FOB Blessing. Coalition forces returned fire at the assessed point of origin with indirect and aerial fire. Regrettably there appears to have been an error in the hand-off between identifying the location of the insurgents and the attack helicopters that carried out subsequent operations. “We are deeply sorry for this tragedy and apologize to the members of the Afghan government, the people of Afghanistan and most importantly, the surviving family members of those killed by our actions,” said General David. H. Petraeus, Commander of International Security Assistance Force. “These deaths should have never happened and I will personally apologize to President Karzai when he returns from his trip to London this week.” “This event is particularly distressing given the recent direction I gave to commanders to review our tactical directive that is intended to reduce civilian casualties to the absolute minimum,” said Gen.Petraeus. “Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, I have ordered all ISAF leaders and members of ISAF attack helicopter crews to be re-briefed on the tactical directive, reinforcing the need to be sure we protect the lives of innocent Afghans as we pursue a ruthless enemy.” ISAF accepts full responsibility for this tragedy and will continue to thoroughly investigate this incident to understand why this happened and try to prevent this from happening in the future. Should the facts of the investigation warrant it, appropriate action, including disciplinary action if necessary, will be taken.”
Names of the nine children killed, plus one injured:
13 yr old Khalid s/o Bismillah
10 yr old Abid s/o Bismillah
10 yr old Khalid s/o Ahmad Khan
12 year old Zialrahman s/o Nisbah
11 yr old Jawad s/o Sabhanullah
11 yr old Ihsanullah s/o Sabhanullah
7 yr old Shahidullah s/o Rahman
11 yr old Jawed s/o Wali Mohammad
10 yr old Umra Khan s/o Safiullah
10 yr old Umad s/o Shir Mohammad was injured
Date: February 24, 2011
Place: Kapisa province
Circumstances: “Five Afghan civilians in the deseprately poor Kapisa Province were killed today by NATO troops while they were out hunting. NATO saw them, Three men with bird-hunting rifles and two boys (aged 12 and 13), assumed they were insurgents, killing them.”
U.S. “NATO Initial response: NATO has promised an “investigation” into the killings but initially termed all the slain insurgents, even though the two children were unarmed and the others had bird hunting gear, not exactly the insurgency’s weapons of choice. They insisted, however, that hunting is officially banned in Kapisa, specifically to prevent this sort of “accidental” killing. Though this is true, food is said to be in short supply in the province this winter, so many are turning to hunting anyhow in an effort to survive.”
Date: February 23, 2011
Place: Marjeh District, Helmand Province
Circumstances: At least one Afghan civilian was killed in a NATO attack targeting militants in Helmand province. U.S. NATO Initial response: “Afghan and coalition forces received small-arms fire from an unknown number of insurgents during a dismounted patrol in Marjeh district, Helmand province, yesterday. Coalition forces gained positive identification and returned fire. Following the engagement, coalition forces discovered one Afghan civilian was killed. ISAF is currently looking into the incident to determine how the civilian died.”
Date: February 17-18
Place: Kunar province
Circumstances: “The NATO airstrike accused of causing civilian casualties involved helicopters and F-15 jets and took place late Thursday night and into the early morning on Friday in the Ghaziabad district of Kunar Province. NATO and Afghan officials agree that the area is heavily infiltrated by insurgents. Beyond that, their accounts differ on almost every aspect of the raid. The Kunar governor, Said Fazlullah Wahidi, said that officials had not been able to visit the area to independently evaluate the casualty claims because it was too insecure, but that reports from residents indicated that women and children were killed as well as some insurgents. “According to our information 64 people were killed: 13 armed opposition, 22 women, 26 boys and 3 old men,” Mr. Wahidi said. President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack, saying he had spoken with provincial authorities and elders several times in the last two days and was told that the dead and wounded included women and children.
U.S. NATO Initial response: “The NATO account said the assault began around 7 p.m. Thursday and lasted for five hours. The target was Taliban fighters who were gathering on a hillside, said Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, the strategic communications chief. After reviewing footage of the assault and intelligence, he said that he saw no sign that civilians or civilian houses were attacked, but that it was not possible to rule it out entirely.”
Date: February 20, 2011
Place: Nangarhar province
Circumstances: “The International Security Assistance Force is investigating an operation conducted in Nangarhar province yesterday that resulted in Afghan civilians being accidentally killed and wounded. Coalition forces observed three insurgents placing an improvised explosive device along a road. After gaining positive identification, coalition forces engaged the enemy. Following the engagement,coalition forces observed three vehicles traveling to a local hospital. The passengers of the vehicles later reported the roof of their compound collapsed during the engagement, resulting in the casualties.”
U.S. NATO Initial /acknowledgement: “This is a deeply regrettable accident,” said U.S. Army Col. Patrick Hynes, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. “We are investigating this tragic incident to find out how it happenedto try and prevent it from happening again. We will meet with local leaders in the area and ensure they understand what happened. Our thoughts and concerns are with the families.”
Date: February 8, 2011
Place: Alishang District of Laghman Province
Circumstances: “Coalition forces are investigating an incident where one Afghan civilian was killed and four received minor injuries during an engagement with insurgents emplacing improvised explosives devices near the Watangatu School in Alishang District of Laghman Province.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “The Coalition unit fired several mortars at the insurgents to stop them from emplacing the IED once they had positively identified their intent. Preliminary reports indicate that one of the rounds may have caused the civilian casualty.
Date: February 3, 2011
Place: Lashkar Ghar district, Helmand province
Circumstances: “The International Security Assistance Force is currently assessing an incident in Lashkar Ghar district, Helmand province, in which two Afghan civilians were accidentally killed and one injured.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “According to initial reports an ISAF unit received small-arms fire, while transiting between two forward operating bases. The unit returned fire at a van which they believed was part of the attack. Following the engagement, ISAF forces found two dead civilians and one wounded civilian in the van. The wounded civilian was evacuated to an ISAF medical facility.” More investigation is underway, ISAF said.
Date: January 31, 2011
Place: Pusht-e Rod district, Farah province
Circumstances: “Coalition forces conducted a precision airstrike against several insurgents, resulting in one local male being killed along with two armed insurgents being wounded in Pusht-e Rod district, Farah province yesterday.”
U.S. NATO Initial response/acknowledgement: “Following the airstrike,a follow-on security force speaking with local villagers confirmed one local was killed in the airstrike and two armed insurgents were injured.”
Date: January 5, 2011
Place: Wardak province
Circumstances: “US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan have killed two Afghan villagers during an operation in the eastern Wardak province,witnesses say. Locals reported that the foreign troops killed two civilians in Adam Kheil village of the war-torn country on Wednesday.” “Civilian casualties have been also a frequent source of tensions between Kabul and the foreign forces. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly urged the United States to pay more attention to the protection of civilian lives during military operations. The United Nations says the death toll of Afghan civilians this year is 20 percent higher than in 2009, with over 2,400 civilians killed in the country from January to September.”
U.S./NATO initial response: “NATO says the two Afghan nationals wereTaliban members.”
Date: January 5, 2011
Place: Nawar district of Ghazni province
Circumstances: “Three civilians were killed in an overnight raid in the Nawar district of the Ghazni province when NATO soldiers targeted them. Angry tribesmen from the region arrived in the provincial capital with the bodies, protesting and demanding US apologies for the killings. Provincial Intelligence Chief Sayyed Amir Shah confirmed that the slain were civilians and promised to take up the issue with the US military. Most such killings, however, result in little more than an expression of vague “regret.”” http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/05/nato-troops-kill-three-civilians-in-afghan-night-raid/
U.S./NATO initial response: NATO declined any comments on those killings, but issued a report relating to night raids in the nearby Rashidan Province, claiming they had killed “over a dozen” insurgents, but no civilians in the attacks on five buildings. It is unclear, then, if the three killed today were from those attacks or a separate, as yet unannounced attack. http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/05/nato-troops-kill-three-civilians-in-afghan-night-raid/
Date: December 21, 2010
Place: Sangin district of Helmand province
Circumstances: “NATO says it is investigating the death of five civilians killed when Coalition forces returned fire against insurgents shooting from a compound in the Sangin district of Helmand.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_afghanistan
U.S./NATO initial response: “The dead civilians were found after the end of an exchange of fire with insurgents, a NATO statement said Tuesday. It did not say when the firefight took place. NATO forces, most of them from the United States, are waging a campaign against the Taliban in Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan. Most of the fighting is taking place in the Sangin section.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_afghanistan
Date: December 14, 2010
Place: Helmand province
Circumstances: “NATO aircraft accidentally killed an Afghan civilianand wounded two children, the coalition said Wednesday, the latest incident involving civilian casualties which have strained ties between Kabul and Washington.” http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE6BE26620101215
U.S./NATO initial response/acknowledgement: “The International Security Assistance Force is sending a joint incident assessment team to Helmand province to assess an incident in which coalition aircraft accidentally killed an Afghan civilian and wounded two children in a close air support mission yesterday.” “We are here to protect the Afghan people and initial indications are that in this case we may have failed,” said Brig. Gen. Tim Zadalis, ISAF Joint Command director of air plans/projects and assessment team leader. “Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of the victims of this unfortunate accident.” http://www.isaf.nato.int/article/isaf-releases/isaf-assesses-civilian-casualties-in-southern-afghanistan.html
Date: December 11, 2010
Place: Zarmat district in Paktia province
Circumstances: “At least seven Afghan civilians have been killed during the latest spate of US-led air strike in Afghanistan amid the rise in civilian casualties in the war-torn country. The attack took place in Zarmat district in Paktia province on Saturday as a group of Afghan road construction workers were working on a project, a Press TV correspondent reported. Reports say local people have gathered at the site of the attack and there is extreme anger over the event.” http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/11-Dec-2010/7-Afghan-civilians-killed-by-USled-airstrike-in-Paktia
U.S./NATO initial response: “The security force … is currently assessing who the individuals were, why they were armed and why they were in that area at that time of the morning,” “ISAF said in a statement.” http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BA0Q420101211
Date: December 4, 2010
Place: Dih Yak district, Ghazni province
Circumstances: AP reported that an airstrike targeting two armed insurgents on a motorcycle wounded a civilian, who later died. The coalition met with elders in the area and extended its condolences.
Date: Saturday, November 20th
Place: Darah-ye-Pech district of northeastern Kunar province
Circumstances: The NATO-led force said its troops had accidentally killed three civilians and wounded four more during an operation in Darah-ye-Pech district of northeastern Kunar province.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops fired several mortar rounds targeting militants on Friday after coming under fire from the insurgents, ISAF said. “Three or four” rounds missed their target and landed near a village, it said. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/207385/nato-admits-killing-three-afghan-civilians
“We take civilian casualties seriously and we do everything within our power to prevent civilian casualties in the course of operations – in this case, we failed,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. “Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of this tragic accident.”
Date: November 14, 2010
Place: Kandahar province
Circumstances: “Also on Sunday, ISAF said one Afghan child had been killed inadvertently and one wounded by artillery fire. The wounded child was taken to an ISAF hospital for treatment. An ISAF patrol had come under fire in the Zharay district of southern Kandahar province,a Taliban stronghold, and returned fire with artillery, the coalition said.”
U.S./NATO initial response/acknowledgment: “Following the engagement, the combined force confirmed that two Afghan children were inadvertently caught in the engagement, one was killed and one was wounded. The wounded child was medically evacuated to an ISAF medical facility. “Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of this terrible accident,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.”
Date: November 10, 2010
Place: Sangin district of Helmand province
Circumstances: “the NATO-led force in Afghanistan said it was investigating whether its troops had inadvertently killed three Afghan civilians on Wednesday while its forces fought insurgents in the south of the country.”
U.S./NATO initial response: International Security Assistance Force is looking into the possibility that three Afghan civilians were inadvertently killed and one wounded by ISAF forces during combat operations with insurgents in the Sangin district of Helmand province Wednesday. Four Afghan civilians were brought to a nearby ISAF base following the engagement, three died and one was wounded. “Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of this terrible accident,” said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.
Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Place: Maidan Shahr district, Wardak province
Circumstances: NATO forces killed two civilians, including a teenage boy, during a fight with insurgents Saturday in Wardak province in eastern Afghanistan, according to Mohammad Halim Fidai, the governor of the province. Fidai condemned the killings. The deaths prompted hundreds of residents to stage a demonstration that blocked a highway for nearly an hour.
The coalition could not confirm the two civilian deaths. NATO said that after insurgents attacked a patrol with a homemade bomb, the troops stopped to investigate the explosion and clear any other bombs in the area. After they stopped, they received fire from an unknown number of insurgents, the coalition said in a statement. During the fighting, the coalition said two Afghans fell off a motorcycle and were taken away by villagers so their conditions could not be verified.
U.S./NATO initial response: “a statement released by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said two civilians had possibly been killed in the Maidan Shahr district of Wardak province, west of Kabul, when insurgents attacked the patrol. However, it did not say whether they were killed by ISAF troops or by insurgents.”
Date: October 23, 2010
Place: Regey village of Sangin district in Helmand province
Circumstances: “President Hamid Karzai said Monday that a rocket attack on a residential compound in the southern province of Helmand was carried out by Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).” He said, “the attack by a helicopter gunship last Friday killed 52 people in Regey village, in Helmand’s volatile Sangin district.”
U.S./NATO initial response: According to “Isaf public affairs officer Todd Breasseale, “We do not know where the information they say they have is coming from.” He said “We are looking into who was responsiblefor (the rocket attack), that is part of our investigation,”
Date: October 4, 2010
Place: Kajaki district of Helmand province
Circumstances:Three Afghan civilians were killed along with 14 insurgents in a NATO air strike targeting a Taliban commander. The air strike in southern Helmand province came only a day after another air strike by foreign forces targeting insurgents in different district of the province, which Afghan police said also killed civilians as well as fighters.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it was investigating the report of a strike, but did not have any information.” http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6934AW20101004
Date:October 3, 2010
Place: Baraki Barak district of Logar province
Circumstances: “Two Afghan civilians were accidentally killed Sunday by coalition forces after insurgents attacked an ISAF base in Logar Province, eastern Afghanistan. The incident, being investigated by NATO, occurred when coalition forces returned fire following an attack by insurgents.“
U.S. NATO Initial response: “The civilians were killed when ISAF forces returned fire following a mortar or rocket attack by the insurgents, it said in a statement. The incident was under investigation.”
U.S/NATO acknowledgement: “ISAF said it had accidentally killed two civilians when insurgents attacked a military base in Baraki Barak district of Logar province south of Kabul.”
Date: October 2, 2010
Place: Helmand province
Circumstances: “At least three Afghan civilians were killed in a NATO air strike targeting senior Taliban commanders in southern Helmand province at the weekend, the provincial police chief said on Sunday.”
U.S. NATO Initial response: “The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it was aware of reports of civilian casualties, but declined immediate comment on the total number of people killed in Saturday’s raid, or the number of possible civilian casualties.”
Date: September 29, 2010
Place: Andar district of Ghazni province
Circumstances: Sher Khan Yousafzai, the chief of Andar district, told the local Pajhwok Afghan News that a Nato raid on Wednesday occurred after a joint patrol by Afghan and foreign forces came under attack. The Nato raid, according to the official killed four children and wounded three adults. Yousafzai said helicopter-borne Nato forces fired on the locals in an orchard near one of the district’s towns, also named Andar.
U.S./NATO initial response: In a statement, Nato said its joint patrol came under small-arms fire from insurgents. “After gaining positive identification on the insurgent position, an air weapons team engaged,” the statement said. “The combined force called for a medical evaluation for wounded insurgents and reported approximately four insurgents had been killed”. The statement said Nato is aware of the allegations that civilians had been killed and would provide updates.
U.S./NATO acknowledgment: Coalition forces killed civilians: Sept 30(Reuters). An airstrike by NATO forces killed four Afghan civilians and wounded three others in Ghazni province, southwest of the capital Kabul, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Sept. 30.
“Air support was called in after Afghan and foreign forces came under fire from around eight insurgents in Andar district on Wednesday, but a group of unarmed civilians was accidentally targeted instead of the fighters.” ISAF said in a statement. “The wounded were taken to an ISAF hospital and compensation will be given to the families of the dead.” the statement added.
Date: September 25, 2010
Place: Alishang district of Laghman province
Circumstances: September 25—Protestors in eastern Laghman provincesaid on Saturday civilians were also among 30 people killed in an ongoing coalition operation in the Alishang district.
U.S. NATO Initial response: “More than 30 enemy fighters have been killed in the engagement. Initial reports indicate that there are no injuries or damages to any civilians in the area.”
U.S/NATO acknowledgement:on September 27, 2010, coalition forces killed civilian—“International Security Assistance Forces confirmed one Afghan civilian was killed by an ISAF service member in the Ali Sheng district of Laghman province Sunday.” Maj. Patrick Seiber, Combined Joint Task Force - 101 and Regional Command - East spokesman said: “We take allegations of civilian casualties very seriously and we will conduct a thorough investigation of this isolated incident,”
Date: September 25, 2010
Place: Musa Qala district of Helmand Province
Circumstances: NATO troops killed two Afghan civilians riding a motorcycle in southern Helmand province.
U.S. NATO Initial response: September 25, 2010 “Two Afghan civilians riding a motorcycle were killed after failing to adhere to several warnings to stop while approaching a security perimeter in southern Afghanistan Saturday,” the ISAF statement said.
U.S/NATO acknowledgement: on September 27, 2010, coalition forces killed civilians—“On Saturday, two civilians on a motorbike were killed by NATO troops after they refused to stop while driving towards a security barrier.
The incident took place in Musa Qala district, an area under Taliban control in the troubled southern province of Helmand.”
Date: September 1, 2010
Place: The Rostoq district of the Takhar Province
Circumstances: According to Afghan officials, ten election campaign workers have been killed in an air strike by Nato-led forces in the northern province of Takhar. The governor of the province, Abduljabar Taqwa, told the BBC that Rostoq was a peaceful and secure area. “Without any co-ordination, without informing provisional authorities,” Mr. Taqwa said, they attacked on their own, civilian people who were in a campaign convoy.”
Initial U.S./NATO response: September 2, 2010 US Marine Corps Maj Gen David Garza said: “We’re aware of the allegations that this strike caused civilian casualties and we’ll do our best to get to the bottom of the accusations.”
The ISAF Joint Command for Afghanistan goes on to assert “After careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft conducted a precision air strike on one sedan and later followed with direct fire from an aerial platform. The vehicle was traveling as part of a six-car convoy, but no other vehicles were hit in the strike. The security force was unable to immediately dispatch a ground force to assess the results, but initial reflections indicate eight to 12 insurgents were killed or injured in the strike, including a Taliban commander.”
Read the Entire International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan Press Release
Date: August 26, 2010
Place: Manogi District of Kunar province
Circumstances: Afghan authorities accused international forces of killing six children during an air assault on Taliban positions. In eastern Kunar province, provincial police chief Khalilullah Ziayee said a group of children were collecting scrap metal on the mountain when NATO aircraft dropped bombs to disperse Taliban fighters attacking a nearby base. “In the bombardment six children, aged six to 12, were killed. Another child was injured,” the police commander said.
Initial U.S./NATO response: August 27, 2010 ISAF said in a statement that “officials are aware of civilian casualty allegations as a result of the engagement and are conducting an investigation.”
Date:August 23, 2010
Place:Talah wa Barfak district of Baghlan Province
Initial U.S./NATO response: Maj. Michael Johnson, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, as the NATO force is known, said NATO authorities were unaware of any such attack.
Date: August 20, 2010
Place: Pusht Rod district of Farah province
Circumstances: According to an ISAF Joint Command report, issued on August 21, 2010, a woman and two children were accidentally killed by an air attack. The report states that six insurgents were killed as they got out of a vehicle and several other suspected militants were detained during an operation in the Pusht Rod district of Farah province. “Also during the operation,” the report states, “a civilian woman and two children were accidentally killed when a coalition force air weapons team engaged the insurgents.”
U.S./NATO acknowledgment that Coalition forces killed civilians: “We deeply regret what occurred on yesterday’s operation,” U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, a spokesman for NATO, said in expressing condolences to relatives. “We are taking a step-by-step approach in investigating what went wrong.”
Date: August 17, 2010
Place Arghandab district of Kandahar province
Initial U.S./NATO response:Coalition forces plan to meet with local elders about the incident, which remains under investigation. (RAHIM FAIEZAP NewsAug 18, 2010 03:23 EDT)
Date: August 12, 2010
Place: Lashkar Gah district, Loyadera area of Helmand Province
Circumstances: ISAF (International Security Assistance Forces) said they were investigating a report that NATO airstrikes killed civilians during a NATO/ISAF operation. Four wounded and three dead Afghan civilians were brought to a nearby checkpoint. They had been in a building which was attacked by aerial bombardment. Two of the wounded civilians later died. In a separate report, ISAF said Afghan and coalition forces had come under fire in an area of Helmand and that an Afghan woman had been shot by ISAF troops during the engagement. The woman later died.
U.S./NATO acknowledgment that Coalition forces killed civilians: On August 15, the ISAF said it believes there is evidence civilians were in the compound targeted by coalition forces during the operation.“
Date: August 12, 2010
Place: Musa Qal&rsquo district of Helmand province
Circumstances: According to an ISAF Joint Command report, issued on August 12, 2010, Afghan and coalition forces were attacked by Taliban fighters with small arms. They returned fire and “an Afghan civilian woman was shot by International Security Assistance Force soldiers. The woman was given immediate medical attention by coalition forces, but subsequently died of her wounds.
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the person killed was an unarmed civilian: ISAF officials deeply regret this unfortunate loss of life and express their sincerest apologies to the family.
Date: August 11, 2010
Place: Sayed Abad district of Wardak Province
Circumstances: Provincial spokesman Shahedullah Shahed told AFP that NATO “Coalition and Afghan forces went to a house to capture a Taliban commander,” provincial spokesman Shahedullah Shahed told AFP. “During the attack unfortunately three civilians were killed.” On Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, an AP photo showed a crowd of about 300 villagers who yelled ‘Death to the United States’ and blocked a main road in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday as they swore that U.S. forces had killed three innocent villagers, officials said.
Initial U.S./NATO response: August 12, 2010 ISAF spokesman Captain Ryan Donald said three “insurgents” had been killed in the raid. U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the person killed was an unarmed civilian: None, as yet. The case is still under investigation.
Date: August 5, 2010
Place: Nangarhar province eastern Afghanistan
Circumstances: According to The Pak Tribune a vehicle carrying a coffin and a dead man’s relatives was bombed and eleven civilians, including women and children, were killed.
Initial U.S./NATO response: August 5, 2010—As sited in The Jakarta Globe, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said it had operated in the area on Wednesday and was “aware of civilian casualty allegations as a result of these operations and is conducting an investigation.”
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that Coalition forces killed unarmed civilians: August 5, 2010 — “Coalition forces deeply regret that our joint operation appears to have resulted in civilian loss of life and we express our sincerest condolences to the families,” said Rear Admiral Greg Smith, ISAF Director of Communication. “We will partner with the Government of Afghanistan to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident, and to provide solation to the families of the civilians killed during the engagement.”
Date: July 23, 2010
Place: Sangin district in Helmand province
Circumstances: On July 26, the Afghan National Directorate of Security stated that on July 23rd the American-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) killed “52 civilians…including women and children” in a “rocket attack.” The Kabul government later revised the number of people killed to 39.
U.S. /NATO initial response: July 27, 2010— “Any speculation at this point of an alleged civilian casualty in Rigi village is completely unfounded,” said Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, director of communications for the American and NATO military coalition. “We are conducting a thorough joint investigation with our Afghan partners and will report any and all findings when known.”
U.S./NATO acknowledgement that Coalition forces killed unarmed civilians: August 5, 2010—“A senior intelligence official told the New York Times (see paragraphs 9 – 15) that six civilians died with eight Taliban fighters when a troop fired a Javelin rocket into a structure from which U.S. Marines took fire. When asked to explain the discrepancy between his tally and that of the Afghan government, the unnamed official cited “political challenges.”
Date: July 8, 2010
Place: Jani Khel district of Paktia Province
Circumstances: According to Reuters’ Rob Taylor in Kabul, 10 Jul 2010 , a joint Afghan and NATO investigation team found six civilians died on Thursday, (July 8), when artillery shells went astray in Paktia Province.
Initial U.S./NATO Response: Initially, the coalition reported that eight Afghan civilians had been injured and taken to a nearby NATO outpost for treatment, and that one subsequently died. Later, it was determined that the bodies of those killed had been removed before NATO units arrived on the scene following the errant rounds, NATO said in a statement.
U.S. /NATO Acknowledgement: On July 10, 2010 NATO admitted killing six people with stray artillery on Thursday, (July 8). “ISAF officials offer sincere condolences to those affected,” the statement said, “and accept full responsibility for the actions that led to this tragic incident.”
Date: July 7, 2010
Place: Northern Balkh province on the outskirts of Mazar-I Sharif
Circumstances: Professor Juan R. I. Cole wrote, on July 11th, that Afghans alleged that on Wednesday, July 7th, US forces wrongly killed two Afghan security guards in a raid on a market in the northern Balkh province on the outskirts of Mazar-i Sharif. According to an Afghan newspaper, about 1,000 demonstrators marched from the shrine of Ali to the offices of UNAMI, a UN organization, chanting and walking for 3 hours in protest against the wrongful killing.
Initial U.S./NATO Response: NATO said that the two security guards declined to lower their weapons, which is why they were shot, and that NATO forces were pursuing elements of the Haqqani Network in the area.
U.S./NATO Acknowledgment: No comment.
Date: June 19, 2010
Place:Khost Province Circumstances: According to the New York Times, NATO airstrikes killed ten civilians, including at least five women and children.
Initial U.S./NATO response: June 19, 2010, coalition forces issue a statement saying that “Precision airstrikes were used in self-defense against a large number of armed insurgents.” And that “We are aware of conflicting reports of civilian casualties made by local officials and are therefore reviewing the operational details of the engagement.”
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians: The June 19th NATO statement also says, “Our mission is to protect the population, and we will accept full responsibility if civilians were unintentionally harmed in this intense fight against insurgents.”
Date: April 28, 2010
Place: Surkh Rod district, near Jalalabad
Circumstances: According to Safiya Sidiqi, a member of the Afghan parliament, dozens of Afghan and U.S. soldiers entered her family home, blindfolded and handcuffed men and women, and killed her brother-in-law, Amanullah, a 30 year old car mechanic with five children. “They shot him six times. In his heart, in his face, in his head,” Sidiqi said on Thursday, April 29th. Both legs were broken.
Initial U.S./NATO response: April 29, 2010—An Afghan-international security force killed one armed individual while pursuing a Taliban facilitator in Nangarhar last night.
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the person killed was an unarmed civilian: None, as yet. The case is still under investigation.
Date: April 20, 2010
Place: Khost Province
Circumstances:A NATO military convoy attacked a car approaching a checkpoint, claiming that the car sped up after being warned to stop. Four young men were killed. According to the New York Times, “The shooting Monday night in Khost province sparked an immediate outcry from the victims’ family, who insisted that all four were civilians driving home from a volleyball game. ‘The youngest boy was just 13,’said Rahmatullah Mansour, whose two sons and two nephews were killed in the shooting. Mansour said that the victims in Monday’s shooting were his sons Faizullah, 13, and Nasratullah, 17; and nephews Maiwand and Amirullah, both 18. He said all were students except Amirullah, who was a police officer.”
Initial U.S. / NATO response: April 21, 2010—From the New York Times: “Without offering proof, NATO described the dead as two insurgents and their “associates.” In a statement on Tuesday, NATO said the vehicle ignored warning shots and accelerated toward the military convoy. But the statement did not challenge the Afghan account that no weapons were found in the vehicle.”
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians: April 22, 2010—NATO acknowledges that four unarmed Afghans who were killed this week when a military convoy opened fire on their vehicle were all civilians, correcting an earlier claim that two of the dead were “known insurgents.”
Date: April 12, 2010
Circumstances: According to the New York Times, “American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, (April 12).” The attack killed five civilians and wounded 18.
Initial U.S./NATO response:A statement issued by the American-led military command in Kabul said that four people were killed. It said “an unknown, large vehicle” drove “at a high rate of speed” toward a slow-moving NATO convoy that was clearing mines.
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians: April 12, 2010—“ISAF deeply regrets the tragic loss of life in Zhari district this morning. According to ISAF operational reporting, four civilians were killed, including one female, and five others were treated for injuries at the scene of the incident today. Upon inspection, NATO forces discovered the vehicle to be a passenger bus.”
April 13, 2010—The New York Times reported that “a military spokeswoman confirmed that a convoy traveling west, in front of the bus, opened fire, but said the second convoy was traveling east toward the passenger bus. She also said the driver of the bus was killed. A survivor, however, identified himself as the driver and said he did not violate any signal from the troops. ‘I was going to take the bus off the road,’ said the man, Mohammed Nabi. ‘Then the convoy ahead opened fire from 60 to 70 yards away,’ he said.”
Date: February 21, 2010
Place: Convoy en route to Kandehar
Circumstances: U.S. aerial forces attacked a three-car convoy traveling to a market in Kandehar. The convoy had planned on continuing to Kabul so that some of the passengers could get medical treatment. At least three dozen people were passengers in the three cars. The front car was an SUV type vehicle, and the last was a Land Cruiser. When the first car was hit by U.S. air fire, women in the second car jumped out and waved their scarves to indicate that they were civilians. U.S. helicopters continued to fire rockets and machine guns, killing 21 people and wounding 13.
U.S./NATO initial response:February 22, 2010—The day after the attack, the U.S.-led military coalition said that NATO forces had fired on a group of “suspected insurgents” who were thought to be on their way to attack Afghan and coalition soldiers a few miles away. When troops arrived after the helicopter strike, they discovered women and children among the dead and wounded.
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians:
Feb 24, 2010—General Stanley McChrystal delivered a videotaped apology.
Date: February 12, 2010
Place: Paktika Province
Circumstances: In a night raid, U.S. forces attacked a home where 25 people, 3 of them musicians, had gathered for a naming celebration. A newborn was being named that night. One of the musicians went outside to relieve himself. A flashlight shone in his face. Panicked, he ran inside and announced that the Taliban were outside. A police commander, Dawoud, the father of the newborn, ran outside with his weapon. U.S. forces opened fire, killing Officer Dawoud, a pregnant mother, an eighteen year old, Gulaila, and two others.
U.S. / NATO initial response: February 12, 2010—U.S. forces claimed that the women had been killed earlier, in an honor killing. Nato’s initial press release bore the headline: “Joint Force Operating in Gardez Makes Gruesome Discovery.” The release said that after “intelligence confirmed militant activity” in a compound near a village in Paktika province, an international security force entered the compound and engaged “several insurgents” in a firefight. Two “insurgents” were killed, the report said, and after the joint forces entered the compound, they “found the bodies of three women who had been tied up, gagged and killed.”
March 16, 2010—The UN issued a scathing report, stating that the U.S. had killed the women. Villagers told Jerome Starkey, reporting for the Independent, that U.S. troops tried to tamper with evidence by digging bullets out of the womens’ bodies and out of the walls.
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians: April 6, 2010—Almost two months later, the Pentagon was finally forced to admit that international forces had badly bungled the raid that night in Paktika, and that U.S. troops had, in fact, killed the women during their assault on the residence. One of the women was a pregnant mother of ten, and the other was a pregnant mother of six children.
Date: February 2010
During this month, U.S./NATO forces launched a military offensive against three hamlets in the Marja district. Researcher Prof. Marc Herold presents a detailed summary and analysis of Afghan civilians killed directly by U.S/NATO forces during this particular month.
Date: December 26, 2009
Place: Kunar Province
Circumstances: In a night raid, U.S. forces, claiming to attack a bomb-making factory, attacked a house where eight youth, aged 11–18, were sleeping. They pulled the youngsters out of their beds, handcuffed them, and executed them. Villagers said that seven of those killed were students and one was a neighboring shepherd.
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians: February 24, 2010—U.S. forces issued an apology, admitting that the U.S. had killed seven schoolboys and a neighboring shepherd.
Date: May 4, 2009
Place: Farah Province near the town of Granai
Circumstances: Mainstream media reports estimate that between 86 and 140 people, mostly children, died in a US air attack. According to Reuters, only 22 of the victims were adult males.
Initial U.S./NATO response: The following chronology indicates multiple attempts on the part of US officials to avoid blame.
May 6, 2009—U.S. officials plea ignorance and state that an investigation is under way.
May 6, 2009—According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for US forces in Afghanistan, Captain Elizabeth Mathias says, “This was not coalition forces. This was Afghan national security forces who called in close air support, a decision that was vetted by the Afghan leadership.”
May 7, 2009—An Armed Service Press Service report announces that a team is “investigating differing accounts of the events leading up to the casualties. Those accounts include allegations that the Taliban tossed grenades into homes to ‘frame’ Afghan and coalition forces.” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates states that “The United States and coalition partners do everything we can to avoid civilian casualties.” He went on to say that “While there have been civilian casualties caused by American and NATO troops, they have been accidental. When the Taliban cause casualties, they are on purpose.”
May 8, 2009—Pentagon spokesperson Col. Greg Julian insists that earlier estimates of the death toll were “grossly exaggerated”.
May 10, 2009—In an interview with Mike Wallace, General David Petraeus suggests that the Taliban forced people “to remain in houses from which the Taliban was engaging our forces.”
May 15, 2009—Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway again blames the Taliban for civilian casualties. “We believe that there were families who were killed by the Taliban with grenades and rifle fire,” he said, “that were then paraded about and shown as casualties from the airstrike.”
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians:
May 13, 2009—Referring to the May 4th raids in an Afghan press interview, Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry admits that “there were a number of civilians killed, a number of civilians wounded. We don’t know the exact amount. You are aware that our President of the United States and our Secretary of State and our Secretary of Defense have all very explicitly expressed their condolences for what happened.”
June 2, 2009—According to The New York Times “A military investigation has concluded that American personnel made significant errors in carrying out some of the airstrikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians, according to a senior American military official.”
Date:April 9, 2009
Place:Khost Province, Ali Daya
Circumstances: U.S. forces were positioned on the rooftop opposite the home of Brigadier Artillery officer Awal Khan. In a night raid, U.S. forces burst into Awal Khan’s home. Awal Khan was away from home. His family members ran to the rooftop, believing that robbers had entered the home. When they emerged on their rooftop, U.S. forces on the opposite roof opened fire, killing Awal Khan’s wife, his brother, his 17 year-old daughter Nadia, and his fifteen year-old son, Aimal and his infant son, born just a week earlier.
U.S. /NATO initial response: April 9, 2010, coalition forces issue a statement that the four people killed by troops were “armed militants.” Later that same day another statement admits that further inquiries “suggest that the people killed and wounded were not enemy combatants as previously reported.”
U.S. /NATO acknowledgement that the people killed were unarmed civilians: The Times of London reported the following, on April 11, 2009:
The US military conceded that its forces killed the civilians in error during the night-time raid that targeted the neighboring compound of a suspected militant. The father of the dead family is a lieutenant-colonel in the Afghan Army fighting the Taleban in the restive province of Ghazni.
The US military reported that two males, two females and an infant were believed to have died in the incident, and two other women were wounded. A relative of the dead family told reporters that the dead infant was a boy born last week. “This was a terrible tragedy,” a US spokesman, Colonel Greg Julian, told The Times.