of Pakistan's Human Rights Network depict President
with a noose around his neck at an anti-American rally in
called to denounce the burning of Qurans by U.S.
stationed in Afghanistan, Feb. 26.
The Frontier Post,
Taliban Claim Afghan
Killing Spree not Work of Lone U.S. Soldier
far, 45 dead, including women and children, have been retrieved by area
residents. … This is not the act of one individual. This was done by several
foreign soldiers who entered people's homes without cause, martyring people in their
Out and out rage is expressed on the streets near Kabul, after reports emerged that a U.S. soldier had gone on a killing spree, killing at least 16 Afghan civilians. Now the Taliban dispute that account of events.
KANDAHAR: Taliban spokesman Qari
Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi has been quoted as saying that 45 Afghan civilians were
killed on Sunday by foreign forces in the Panjwai
district of Kandahar Province. He said U.S. troops
entered the homes of Palambi villagers in Zungabad district and gunned down their slumbering
Wazir was among his 11 family members who were killed when foreign forces
attacked his home. People were also killed in other homes. So far, 45 dead,
including women and children, have been retrieved by area residents,” Ahmadi
The Taliban spokesman said
there were signs of burn marks on the corpses, suggesting that bullets were used
in the raids. Rejecting reports that the civilians were killed by a single
soldier, Ahmadi said: “This is not the act of one individual. This was done by
several foreign soldiers who entered people's homes without cause, martyring
people in their sleep.”
Calling the deed by foreign
forces a violation of all human law, Ahmadi urged people to end their docility
and join a national uprising against the foreigners.
Witnesses also said they saw
a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at the village in Kandahar’sPanjwayi district enter homes and open fire at about
Earlier, an Afghan minister said
that a lone U.S. soldier had killed up to 16 people when he burst into their homes
in the middle of the night in villages near his base. Panjwayi
district is about 35 km west of Kandahar City. The
district is considered the spiritual home of the Taliban.
The Defense Minsitry in Kabul issued a statement saying, “The defense
minister … is deeply shocked and saddened by the killings of 15 innocent
civilians and the wounding of nine more at the hands of coalition forces.”
The incident comes just weeks
after U.S. troops burned copies of the Holy Quran at a NATO base, triggering
widespread anti-Western protests and bringing already-strained U.S.-Afghan ties
to a new low.
The International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) said it had detained one of its soldiers, and that an
investigation was under way. ISAF said the soldier reportedly went to more than
one village near his base.
“I cannot explain the
motivation behind such callous acts, but they were in no way part of authorized
ISAF military activity,” ISAF Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Adrian
Bradshaw said in a statement.
The Afghanistan Minister of
Border and Tribal Affairs AsadullahKhalid, who is investigating the incident, said the soldier
entered three homes, killing 11 people in the first.
The Afghan Interior Ministry
condemned the shootings, which are likely to intensify friction between
Washington and Kabul, just as NATO is preparing to hand over all security
responsibilities to the Afghans by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile in a press release,
the U.S. Embassy expressed grief over the incident.
“The United States extends
its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today’s tragic
shooting incident in Kandahar Province. We are
saddened by this violent act against our Afghan friends. Our thoughts and
prayers are with the families and their entire community. … U.S. Forces are
providing the highest level of care for those injured. We are still attempting
to ascertain the facts. The incident is under investigation and a United States
service member has been detained.
“We are committed to an
enduring partnership with Afghanistan to obtain greater peace and security in
the region, which is our common interest. We deplore any attack by a member of
the U.S. Armed Forces against innocent civilians, and denounce all violence
against civilians,” the press release continued.
“We assure the people of
Afghanistan that the individual or individuals responsible for this act will be
identified and brought to justice,” the press release maintained.
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