War & Peace
NATO Kills Cousin of Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Just days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his outrage over NATO’s killing of innocent civilians, NATO troops in southern Afghanistan have mistakenly killed the President’s cousin. Yar Muhammad Khan, an elderly farmer, left his home at night carrying a weapon (not an unusual practice in such a volatile country) when he was shot dead in a night raid in Dand, near Kandahar. “There was an operation taking place near his house. He was killed by mistake. He was not a target,” Ahmad Wali Karzai, the President’s brother and head of Kandahar’s provincial council, told the BBC.
Last year saw the highest number of Afghan civilians killed since the American-led war began more than nine years ago. A recent spike in innocent deaths has infuriated Afghans. Nine boys gathering firewood were hunted down and slaughtered by American helicopters last week in a tragic case of mistaken identity. More than 60 civilians were killed by NATO foreces in Kunar province last month as well.
While the Taliban and other insurgents are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths, the killing of innocent Afghans by the foreign invaders almost always provokes more outrage. Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of the capital Kabul last week, with many chanting “Death to America!”, to protest the recent troubling spike in civilian casualties.
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