Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Helen Davidson / The Guardian – 2013-10-18 02:48:18
Australian Troops Kill Six-Year-Old Boy, Father in Afghan Night Raid
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(October 17, 2013) — Australian troops have been implicated in the killing of a six-year-old Afghan boy and his father during a night raid in the Uruzgan Province three weeks ago. The two were in the house next door to the raided house.
The two were found under a bullet-ridden blanket, shot in the head, and the child had a syringe stuck in his chest during an abortive attempt to revive him. Locals say the troops were on their roof during the next-door raid, and shot down into the home through the roof as well.
The Australian Defense Department confirmed the incident, saying it had informed the Afghan government and NATO, but declined to offer further details, saying there is a pending investigation.
The Australian military reportedly paid “compensation” to some locals over the raid, but relatives of the slain civilians are still furious about the incident, just the latest in a long line of night raids gone wrong, a major source of tensions between the Karzai government and NATO.
Afghan Boy, Six, and Father Shot During
Night Raid by Australian Special Forces
Helen Davidson / The Guardian
KABUL (October 16, 2013) — Australian Special Forces have been implicated in the deaths of a young boy and his father who were found shot dead after a night raid on a neighbouring house in southern Afghanistan last month.
Locals allege the two civilians were killed when Australian forces fired through the roof while entering the house next door where an insurgent was hiding, reports Fairfax Media. The raid was carried out on the night of 27 September in Bulagh, west of Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province.
Locals found the boy and his father after Australian forces left the house. They reportedly had bullet wounds and were lying under a blanket in a bed. The six-year-old boy was on his fatherâ€™s chest and there was evidence that someone had tried to give him medical attention, it was claimed.
Fairfax also reported that Australian forces had paid compensation.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Department of Defence told Guardian Australia that a possible civilian casualty incident on that date was under investigation.
“The government of Afghanistan and ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] headquarters have been informed of the incident,” she said.
“The ADF takes all reasonable steps to ensure its operations do not put the lives of civilians and non-combatants in jeopardy. Deployed ADF personnel operate under strict rules of engagement designed to minimize the risk to civilians.”
In August, Australian elite Special Forces troops were accused of misconduct, including severing the hands of deceased insurgents.
In March, Afghan officials blamed Australian soldiers for the deaths of two young children who were tending cattle.
In March 2011 Australian troops killed a man suspected of being an insurgent and a young boy. A defence report into the case found the actions of Australian troops were “lawful and in accordance with the rules of engagement”, said the chief of joint operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power.
“The childâ€™s fatal injuries and the death of the Afghan man were the result of the partnered force being engaged by insurgents,” the report said.
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