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Family reflects on NATO killings

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - 03:19

Sept. 6 - The family of a man and his son accidentally killed by NATO troops in Afghanistan last year speak of their grief and anger. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Abdullah is a bitter man. His father and eldest brother were shot dead by NATO-led troops during a midnight raid on their home in the Afghan province of Jalalabad. That was a year ago. SOUNDBITE: Abdullah saying (Pashto): "My father an brother were asleep inside the house with their children when suddenly the U.S. soldiers climbed onto the roof, then entered the house and shot my father. I imagined they had a personal feud with him when I heard the gunfire, or I thought that robbers had got into our house. Then I heard the children shouting that robbers had come. My brother woke up and saw that the U.S. soldiers had killed my father, so he grabbed my father's body and the Americans opened fire on him and killed him." Abullah was hooded, handcuffed and flown to a prison where he was questioned and later freed. NATO's International Security Assistance force initially said troops its troops came under attack from the house and had returned fire. It later realised the deaths were a mistake and apologised. SOUNDBITE: Abdullah saying (Pashto): "The U.S. troops freed me and they said 'your brother and your father were innocent'. What they said to me did not satisfy me. If I had the power I would behead them all." The killing of Abdullah's father and brother triggered mass protests. Some Afghan political analysts say raids, deaths and detentions of innocent Afghans are fuelling the insurgency. SOUNDBITE: Waheed Mojda, Afghan political analyst, saying (Dari): "The searches and night raids by foreign troops in Afghan civilian homes to find Osama or Mullah Omer were a mistake. They've killed or detained many innocent people, women and children. They raided and searched ordinary people's homes based on wrong intelligence. As a result people in the south and southeast of the country realised that sooner or later they'd be killed or detained by foreign troops so they decided to get guns and fight." The September 11th attacks of 2001 brought foreign troops into Afghanistan. Many Afghans welcomed the removal of the Taliban but many also now fail to see any gain. SOUNDBITE: Waheedullah, Jalalabad resident, saying (Pashto): "We haven't benefited from the ten-year presence of Americans in Afghanistan. They just came for their own benefit. They've killed and wounded many innocent Afghans and they don't even apologise for their actions, although apologies would still not bring back those Afghan lives." For Abdullah the loss of his father and eldest brother has had far-reaching consequences. After the tragedy he dropped out of school and abandoned his dreams of becoming an interpreter. He was top of his class at school for years...now he works long gruelling days at a brick factory. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Family reflects on NATO killings

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - 03:19