NATO troops in Afghanistan have recently come under fire for the killing of civilians with President Hamid Karzai saying that apologies would no longer be accepted on the matter. The Presidents words fell on deaf ears and the dispute between Afghanistan and the NATO presence is going to intensify dramatically in the coming days. In a botched mission in the Southern province of Kandahar NATO troops killed an elderly cousin of the President. Officials confirmed that Haji Yar Mohammad Karzai was shot and killed in the village of Karz by friendly forces. The details are fuzzy but one thing is certain; this should not have happened.
It appears that ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) as well as NATO thought Karzai’s cousin was the father of a high level Taliban leader. ISAF had issued a statement shortly after the raid saying that the father of a Taliban leader was killed and then quickly issued a new press release fixing the mistake. The original said that the man in question was being targeted for the alleged production and distribution of IED’s in and around Kandahar. When soldiers entered the village they demanded that the people inside of a compound come out so they could be searched. Shit then hit the fan. A soldier said he observed a man walk out with an AK-47 whom he precieved to be a threat and so they opened fire. The individual holding the AK-47 was the cousin of President Karzai. An inquiry has now been launched into the conflicting statements.
While the full report is not out and the details are still unclear witnesses are saying that American forces are responsible for the killing. According to a witness who attended the funeral the raid came at around midnight and the compound was surrounded with tanks.
Karzai’s brother alleges that it could be someone getting back at his family by handing the U.S. military false intelligence to settle a decade long rift between the Karzai clan that goes back to the jihad period of the 80′s. Whatever the case may be it’s going to be used mercilessly by Karzai to put pressure on NATO and ISAF to leave. According to his brother the President wasn’t close to his cousin and hadn’t seen him in quite some time. He didn’t even attend his funeral. Although just because you’re not close to someone doesn’t mean you’d sit back and watch them die. The timing of this incident is quite bad as American forces have recently been scolded for killing 9 innocent Afghani boys who were chopping wood. How they mistook them for insurgents I’ll never know. While the UN says that 75% of civilian casualties are at the hands of insurgents Karzai has ramped up his irritation at foreign troops in the hopes that his people won’t think he’s a puppet for America. That toll could change as just today a Democratic Senator said that the United States will have a large presence in Afghanistan for about 10 more years.Source: Guardian UK