NATO admits killing 2 pregnant Afghan women and teenager in bungled raid
April 5, 2010
(ChattahBox) – NATO command admitted a role in the deaths of three woman in a botched Special Operations raid February 12, after denying it for weeks. According to a report in The Times of London, investigators say American troops removed bullets from the bodies of the victims, which included two pregnant women, a teenage girl, along with a police officer and his brother who appeared to show “hostile intent,” according to initial military claims. NATO has confirmed that the five residents of Khataba village were killed erroneously in the nighttime raid, in a joint force of U.S. and Afghan Special Forces stormed their home after a tip suggested a Taliban militant was hiding there.
“Despite earlier reports we have determined that the women were accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men,” NATO spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Todd Breasseale told The Times. The Western military alliance denied the claims that there had been any cover-up.
One of the women killed was a pregnant mother of 10 and another was a pregnant mother of six. They were attending what survivors describe as a celebration of the homeowner’s grandson’s birth. ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Eric Tremblay was quoted as saying:
“The force went to the compound based on reliable information in search of a Taliban insurgent and believed that the two men posed a threat to their personal safety.
“We now understand that the men killed were only trying to protect their families.”
Tremblay said international forces were working with their Afghan counterparts to prevent any similar future incidents. NATO officials are struggling to contain fallout from a series of tirades by the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who has also railed against the killing of civilians by Western forces.