Written by Parwiz Shamal
Afghan rights group accuses foreign troops of deliberately killing civilians
AN AFGHAN human rights organisation has accused the
The Afghanistan Human Rights Organisation (AHRO) said on Tuesday that, according to their own investigations, civilians are killed in most operations conducted by US forces.
AIHRC expressed strong concern about the death of innocent Afghans during military operations and urged those responsible for the killings to face trial.
"According to our investigations, 98% of civilian casualties caused by the coalition forces in
"The actions of the coalition forces, especially the American forces, are not only against the human rights laws, but are considered war crimes. Therefore, these forces have committed war crimes in
Foreign forces maintain that they try their best to minimise civilian casualties in their operations.
They also accuse the Taliban of using civilians as human shields by taking shelter in residential homes and areas.
A spokesman for the AHRO, Nadir Nadiri, said: "Whenever a military force, or one of the two sides in a war, kill innocent people intentionally, it has broken the international human rights law, and according to the human rights law, such people must be tried."
NATO and the US-led coalition have come under fire from Afghan politicians, ordinary people and the local media for killing innocent civilians in recent weeks.
On Monday, residents accused foreign troops of killing four members of the same family during a midnight raid in
On August 22, a coalition raid on a village in the western
Karzai, who has also chided western generals for their failure to minimise civilian casualties, says the death of innocent Afghans only plays into the hands of the Taliban, who use the killings to turn people against the government.
More than 500 civilians have been killed during operations led by foreign and Afghan forces against militants this year, according to the Afghan government and some aid groups.
The UN says the civilian death-toll has increased "sharply" this year on last.
PESHAWAR: At least 500 civilians were killed or wounded during the five-day US-led troops` ground and air operation in the Sangin district of Helmand province, a member of Afghanistan`s parliament said on Sunday.
"Foreign forces have been conducting operation in Sarwan Qala area of Sangin district for the last five days in which artillery and aircraft are being used," Dad Muhammad Khan, member of Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament), told Afghan Islamic Press.
"The dead and injured were lying in the area and there is no one to shift the injured. Yesterday, I raised the issue in the parliament but the government has done nothing so far," he said.
AP adds: Nato says a roadside blast in southern
Certainly reminds me of
Up to 20 die in attack by commandoes on village near known Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold
Wednesday September 03 2008
The war in
The early morning attack on Jala Khel killed between seven and 20 people, according to a range of reports from the remote Angoor Adda region of
Local residents were quoted as saying most of the dead were civilians and included women and children. It was not known whether any Taliban or al-Qaida militants or western forces were among the dead.
Major-General Athar Abbas, a spokesman for the
But a Nato spokesman denied involvement. "There has been no Nato or Isaf involvement crossing the border into
There were unconfirmed reports that the incursion was carried out by US special forces, which are not under Isaf command and can operate independently. A
Official Pakistani condemnation swiftly followed the attack amid growing concern that the Nato-led war against the Taliban in
Owais Ahmed Ghanisaid, the governor of North-West Frontier province, which adjoins
The foreign ministry in
"Such actions are counter-productive and certainly do not help our joint efforts to fight terrorism. On the contrary, they undermine the very basis of cooperation and may fuel the fire of hatred and violence we are trying to extinguish."
"This is a very alarming and very dangerous development," said a former senior Pakistani official. "We have absolutely been telling them (the
US and Nato commanders say Taliban and al-Qaida fighters use the unruly, semi-autonomous tribal areas of
Tensions between Pakistan's new civilian government and the US have been running high after American accusations that rogue elements in Pakistan's top spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, were feeding classified information on coalition troops to Taliban fighters.
The strains have been exacerbated by a political crisis in Pakistan after last month's forced resignation of President Pervez Musharraf and the collapse of a power-sharing agreement between the ruling Pakistan People's party (PPP) and Nawz Sharif, a former prime minister. An election to find a replacement for Musharraf is scheduled for Saturday, with the PPP chairman and Benazir Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, expected to win.
In a further sign of instability, militants opened fire today on prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's car, in an apparent assassination attempt, near
A top security official in
Gilani was due to meet David Cameron, the Conservative leader who is visiting
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, ISAF troops in two helicopters landed at a village near Angoor Adda, South Waziristan Agency and as per reports received so far, killed seven innocent civilians, according to the statement.
This completely unprovoked act of killing is strongly condemned and the loss of precious lives is regretted, said the statement.
An army spokesman said in the statement that he blamed the Coalition Forces for this violent act and said that such acts of aggression did not serve the common cause of fighting terrorism and militancy in the area.
"A strong protest by Foreign Office has been lodged with Government of United States," said the statement.
Pakistan Army has also lodged a strong protest with Office of the Defence Representative in Pakistan (ODRP). "We reserve the right of self defence and retaliation to protect our citizens and soldiers against aggression," the statement said.
Private TV channel DAWN NEWS reported that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces came in three helicopters and landed in