Afghanistan: U.S. military covered up murders of Afghan civilians, investigation shows

U.S. soldiers shoot at Afghans during Operation Mostarak in Badula Qulp, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 19, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez/Released)

The following article by Kosta Harlan is from Fight Back! News:

An investigation into the killings of five Afghan civilians by U.S. forces on Feb. 12 has revealed that the U.S. tried to cover up its responsibility for the deaths.

On the night of Feb. 12, U.S. occupation forces entered a home in the Gardez district of Paktia province, east of the capital Kabul. The U.S. soldiers shot dead two Afghan men who were carrying weapons, then shot three pregnant women. The Afghans had been celebrating the birth of a baby. The U.S. initially claimed that the two men were Taliban fighters and that the three women were already dead when they arrived on the scene. In fact, the two men were a local police chief and a prosecutor.

The mainstream media followed this story without bothering to check with the inhabitants of the village. CNN reported the story with the headline, “Bodies found gagged, bound after Afghan ‘honor killing.'” CNN quoted a U.S. official as saying the women had been shot “execution-style” and that the killings had “the earmarks of a traditional honor killing.”

Now, an investigation has revealed that the U.S. lied about the killings and that the U.S. soldiers who shot the women tried to cover up their crimes. In a report printed in The Times, Jerome Starkey revealed that, “U.S. special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened.” It was not until an Afghan investigation was undertaken into the killings that the truth was finally revealed.

Abdul Ghafar, the son of the police chief killed in the raid, said, “My father was friends with the Americans and they killed him…I want to kill them. I want the killers brought to justice.” Mohammed Tahir, whose father was a prosecutor killed by U.S. forces in the raid said, “They teach us human rights, then they kill a load of civilians. They didn’t come here to end terrorism. They are terrorists.”

The three pregnant women who were shot dead by U.S. Special Forces had between them sixteen children.

This gruesome incident is further evidence, if any was really needed, to support what commanding General Stanley McChrystal said a few days ago: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

In other news today, April 6, in Afghanistan, NATO forces killed four civilians – two women, a child and an old man, in an air strike.

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