Posts Tagged ‘NATO forces’

Officials: NATO forces kill four Afghan school students The Education Ministry said in a statement that the four dead were students, aged 11 to 17.

April 22, 2010

Uruknet.info, April 20, 2010

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

20killed_by_nato_khost_apr20_10.jpg
The body of a child lies in a coffin decorated with flowers in Khost province on April 20, 2010. Four children were killed April 19 in crossfire between foreign soldiers and insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, the education ministry said on April 20. (Photo: Getty Images)

April 20, 2010 – DPA

Kabul – Afghan officials said Tuesday that NATO forces shot dead four Afghan school students, but NATO said those killed were Taliban militants and their associates.

The incident happened around three kilometres south of Khost city, the capital of the south-eastern province of Khost, on Monday night, Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told the German Press Agency dpa.

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NATO Forces Kill 10 Afghan Civilians, Mostly Children

December 29, 2009

Deaths Come in Apparent US Raid in Kunar Province

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  December 28, 2009

NATO officially denied having any information about any operations going on in Kunar, but western officials privately conceded that US special forces have been operating in the Taliban-heavy area. A spokesman for the NATO forces promised to “look into” the reports.

Provincial police could provide only sparse details about the killings, and said that a full investigation would take several days, owing to the difficulty in even traveling to the area of the incident. US officials have yet to comment at all.

Though the Taliban has established a growing presence in the province, Kunar has been comparatively ignored by international forces since this summer, when provincial officials accused a US soldier of throwing a hand grenade into a crowd of civilians in a marketplace. The grenade killed two people and injured 56 others.

Afghanistan war: Global opposition grows

September 14, 2009
Trent Hawkins,  Green Left Online, Sep 12, 2009

In the wake of the bombing of two oil tankers by the occupying NATO forces, and farcical elections controlled by warlords, international public opinion is turning against the US-led war in Afghanistan.

The September 4 oil tanker bombings in Kunduz province, in which the September 5 Pajhwok Afghan News said as many as 150 civilians were killed, is just the latest in a constant stream of atrocities against civilians committed by the occupying forces.

This, combined with the increasingly blatant fact that the forces kept in power by the occupation troops are just as brutal and misogynist as the Taliban, which the US and NATO ousted, means the true nature of the Afghan war as an imperial power play is increasingly obvious.

A CNN Opinion Research poll conducted between August 28 and 31 found that 57% of US people were opposed to the war, and 40% believe it can’t be won.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51% of US people thought the war was not worth fighting for., the Post said on August 20.

The poll of 1000 people, found that only 24% supported sending more troops to Afghanistan.

A September 4 Melbourne Age article said recent Gallup polls showed 42% of US people now think it was a mistake to send troops to Afghanistan in the first place.

Similar figures have been registered in Australia and other countries with soldiers in Afghanistan.

An March Age/Nielson poll found that 51% of Australians oppose our involvement in the war and two thirds opposed an increase in troops.

An Independent Newspaper poll in August found that 52% of people in Britain want troops out and 58% think “the offensive is a lost cause”.

An Ifop/Le Figaro poll conducted between August 10-18 found that 64% in France oppose their country’s military intervention in Afghanistan, an August 24 Angus-reid.org article said.

One country likely to feel immediate ramifications from its involvement in Afghanistan is Germany, which has parliamentary elections in September.

In July, a poll by the German public broadcaster ARD found that 69% wanted troops to leave as soon as possible.

Chancellor Angela Merkell has been forced to admit the air strike on the two oil tankers, called in by a German commander, had killed civilians.

Initially, defence minister Franz Josef Jung refused to admit any civilians were killed, but Merkell later called for a “quick, complete and open” inquiry by NATO, the September 8 Age said.

The left-wing party, Die Linke, has seen its support increase by four points to 14% in the latest poll from Forsa for Stern magazine, Reuters said on September 9.

Die Linke is the only party to call for the withdrawal of Germany’s contingent of 4200 troops from Afghanistan.

Die Linke also called for Jung’s resignation after his comments and have called rallies in Berlin in response to the recent bombings.

The failure of troop increases this year to have any impact is also generating significant opposition in Britain.

In July, Britain launched Operation Panther’s Claw in order to provide “security” to allow the 80,000 people in the Babaji area the “freedom” to vote in the elections. In a sign of broader military failures in the country, only 150 people turned up to vote, equalling the number of British troops killed or wounded in that period, the September 8 Age said.

In response, Eric Joyce, the parliamentary aid to the British defence secretary, resigned on September 3.

In his resignation letter, Joyce said: “I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets.”

Similar fractures are appearing in the US, with many questioning why Obama, who was elected on a seemingly anti-war platform, is extending Bush’s war.

Democrat congressperson Jim McGovern moved a motion in July demanding an exit strategy from the war, which was supported by a majority of Democrats, despite opposition from the White House.

McGovern has indicated that he will introduce legislation to congress to block any further troop increases, the September 6 Age said.

An August 31 Yahoo News article reported that former CIA official and advisor to Bill Clinton, Bruce Riedel, said: “If the Government of Afghanistan goes into free fall — something like the South Vietnamese Government of the 1960s — then all the troops in the world aren’t going to matter.”

With increasing public opposition to the war, British Stop the War Coalition has called a national march to demand troops out of Afghanistan on October 24.

In the US, a national day of action, themed “Change ≠ War!” to protest Obama’s war policies has been called by United for Peace and Justice for October 7 and mark the eight anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan.

A number of US anti-war organisations are also supporting national anti-war actions on October 17, calling for “Troops Home Now”.

This date also marks the date when Congress passed the “Iraq War Resolution” allowing Bush to invade Iraq.

In Australia activists are organising actions to commemorate the anniversary and call for troops out.

The Sydney Stop the War Coalition is organising a demonstration for October 8. The rally already has support from the NSW Greens, the Fire Brigade Employees, the Maritime Union of Australia (NSW Branch) and the Socialist Alliance. The rally will start at 5.30pm and march to the defence department.

In Melbourne, anti-war activists are planning a rally for October 10. The rally will start at noon at City Square and march to Victoria Army Barracks.

Rocket attack destroys 20 NATO tankers at Chaman border

September 1, 2009
The News International, Aug 30, 2009
CHAMAN: A number of Nato oil tankers were destroyed in a rocket attack near Custom House and FC Office at Pak-Afghan Border near Chaman.

According to Geo News, supplies including 1500 oil tankers which were to be transported for Nato forces came under a rocket attack near Chaman border, triggering a blaze. Twenty oil tankers were completely destroyed in the attack.

The reason for presence of such a large quantity of the equipment and vehicles at Chaman border was suspension of Pak-Afghan traffic a day earlier.

A large number of locals gathered at the site of the incident after seeing the tankers on fire.

A Geo News correspondent said a bomb was also found near the oil tankers this morning, which was defused later.

Another 45,000 US troops needed in Afghanistan, military adviser says

August 11, 2009

Times Online/UK, Aug 10, 2009

Soldiers wading in a wadi in Helmand province

Nato needs to change its strategy in Afghanistan, says Anthony Cordesman, a military adviser

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

The United States should send up to 45,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, a senior adviser to the American commander in Kabul has told The Times.

Anthony Cordesman, an influential American academic who is a member of a team that has been advising General Stanley McChrystal, now in charge of Nato forces in Afghanistan, also said that to deal with the threat from the Taleban the size of the Afghan National Army might have to increase to 240,000.

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Pakistan reacts with fury after up to 20 die in ‘American’ attack on its soil

September 4, 2008
· Children reported dead in assault near Taliban base
· Raid was gross violation, says foreign ministry

Pakistan

Relations have become increasingly fraught between the US and Pakistan, which is struggling to control Islamist militants. Photograph: John Moore/EPA

The war in Afghanistan spilled over on to Pakistani territory for the first time yesterday when heavily armed commandos, believed to be US Special Forces, landed by helicopter and attacked three houses in a village close to a known Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold.

The surprise attack on Jala Khel was launched in early morning darkness and killed between seven and 20 people, according to a range of reports from the remote Angoor Adda region of South Waziristan. The village is situated less than one mile from the Afghan border.

Local residents were quoted as saying that 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.

Furious official Pakistani condemnation of the attack followed swiftly, amid growing concern that the Nato-led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan could spread to Pakistan, sparking a region-wide conflagration.

Owais Ahmed Ghanisaid, the governor of North-West Frontier province, adjoining South Waziristan, said 20 people had died and called for retaliation. “This is a direct assault on the sovereignty of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan expect that the armed forces … would rise to defend the sovereignty of the country and give a befitting reply,” he said.

The foreign ministry in Islamabad termed the incursion “a gross violation of Pakistan’s territory” and a “grave provocation” which, it said, had resulted in “immense” loss of civilian life.

“Such actions are counterproductive and certainly do not help our joint efforts to fight terrorism. On the contrary, they 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] not to do this but they ignored us.”

US and Nato commanders say Taliban and al-Qaida fighters use the unruly, semi-autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan to stage attacks on coalition forces inside Afghanistan and create “safe havens” where they are immune from attack. Nato and civilian casualties in Afghanistan have reached record levels in the past 12 months in the face of a spreading Taliban offensive.

US forces have used missile-carrying drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – to attack militant targets inside Pakistan in the past. But yesterday’s assault, involving up to three helicopters and infantry commandos, marked the first time the fight has been taken directly to the enemy on Pakistani soil.

Major-General Athar Abbas, a spokesman for the Pakistan army, said Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) had carried out the raid. “Two helicopters of Isaf landed very early in the morning and conducted a raid on a compound there. As per our report, seven civilians were killed in this raid.”

But a Nato spokesman denied involvement. “There has been no Nato or Isaf involvement crossing the border into Pakistan,” a Nato spokesman, James Appathurai, said. 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 US military spokesman at the Bagram base near Kabul did not deny an attack had occurred but declined to comment.

Tensions between Pakistan’s new civilian government and the US have been running high following 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. Washington has also repeatedly accused Islamabad of failing to do enough to curb militant activity.

The strains have been exacerbated by a political crisis in Pakistan following 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 Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister. An election to find a replacement for Musharraf is scheduled for Saturday, with the PPP chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s widower, expected to win.

In a further sign of instability, militants opened fire yesterday on prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s car, in an apparent assassination attempt, near Islamabad. The assailants, firing from a roadside embankment, hit the driver’s side window twice. Gilani was not in the car at the time.

Today he was due to meet David Cameron, the Conservative leader, who is visiting Pakistan.

Watch John D McHugh’s video on the struggle for power and influence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region

US-led forces kill more Afghan civilians

July 23, 2008
By Jerry White | World Socialist Web Site, 22 July 2008

US and NATO forces killed at least 13 Afghans over the weekend, adding to the toll of civilian deaths as the military intensifies efforts to crush opposition to the nearly seven-year-old US occupation.

The two latest incidents occurred as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama visited Afghanistan and called for more US troops to be sent to the war-ravaged country.

On Sunday, US-led coalition forces killed four Afghan police officers and five civilians in the Anar Dara district in the western province of Farah, near the Iranian border. Coalition forces, which entered the area around midnight, waged a four-hour firefight and called in air strikes after reportedly receiving small arms fire from a group of local policemen.

Provincial Deputy Governor Younus Rasuli said the US-led convoy of troops never informed local police or officials of their plans to be in the area, and the policemen mistook them for Taliban fighters.

The US military issued a perfunctory statement justifying the action against what it described as a “non-uniformed hostile force.” Coalition forces, the statement said, had “engaged the enemy with precision close air support.”

In a separate incident Saturday night, NATO forces killed at least four civilians in eastern Paktika province when International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) fired two mortar rounds that landed nearly half a mile short of their target. The Associated Press reported that NATO was investigating whether three other civilians were also killed in the attack, which occurred in the Barmal district, an area made up mostly of Sunni Pashtun people.

The ISAF issued a statement saying it “deeply regrets this accident” and would investigate the incident. The alliance acknowledged it was providing medical aid to four others who were wounded in the attack.

As has been the case in previous such incidents in which, all told, thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed by US-led forces, military commanders insisted they were taking every precaution to prevent civilian deaths, which they said, were ultimately the fault of the insurgency.

The slaughter of innocent men, women and children, however, is inevitable given the neo-colonial character of the war and the counter-insurgency methods the US and NATO forces are using against growing popular resistance.

The number of attacks launched against the occupation forces has jumped by over 40 percent this summer. For the first time last month, US and allied casualties in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq.

In response to the deteriorating military situation, 646 bombs were dropped in June—the second highest total for any month of the war. In the first half of 2008, 1,853 bombs and missiles were used, 40 percent more than the same period last year.

The escalating violence took place as Obama visited Kabul on Sunday. In the morning he met with US troops at Camp Eggers, a heavily fortified military base in the city, praising them for their “excellent work.”

Later, in a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, he pledged additional military support to the puppet regime. Karzai’s spokesman said Obama was “committed to supporting Afghanistan and to continue the war against terrorism with vigor.” He said Democrats and Republicans “are friends of Afghanistan and no matter who wins the US elections, Afghanistan will have a very strong partner in the United States.”

In an interview from Kabul broadcast by CBS News on Sunday, Obama said the situation in the country was “precarious and urgent” and reiterated his position that Afghanistan had to become the focus of US military action, as opposed to the “strategic mistake” in Iraq that had diverted the US from the so-called “war on terror.”

Obama said as US troops left Iraq, at least 7,000 should be sent to the Central Asian country and that plans to increase US presence should not wait until the next administration takes office.

The massacre of Afghan civilians exposes the brutal, neo-colonial reality of US imperialist policy that is supported by both parties and both presidential candidates.


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