Moral Low Ground


NATO Night Raid Kills 6 Afghan Civilians Including Woman and Child; Hundreds Protest

Hundreds of angry Afghans took to the streets of a town in the northeastern part of the country Thursday to protest a deadly night raid carried out by NATO and Afghan forces that claimed six civilian lives.

According to Agence France-Press, a woman and a child were among the dead in Dewa Gul, a resistance stronghold in the Chawki district of Kunar province.

“The raid was not coordinated with us,” provincial Governor Fazlullah Wahidi told AFP. “Those killed were civilians, among them a woman and a child. Now the people are demanding justice.”

The protesters chanted anti-NATO and anti-Afghan government slogans as they marched through town.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai dispatched a delegation to investigate the killings. A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed that there was a NATO-Afghan operation in the area and assured that an investigation was under way.

Night raids, in which U.S.-led forces conduct kill-and-capture raids against suspected Taliban resistance fighters, have often resulted in civilian deaths. Such raids have generated widespread animosity toward the NATO invaders; Karzai and others have repeatedly called for an end to them, to no avail.

ISAF counters that night raids are the safest way to target resistance leaders and that no shots are fired in 85% of such operations.

AFP reports that the United Nations has counted a 15% rise in Afghan civilian casualties in the first half of 2011. Some 1,462 innocent people lost their lives, with 80% of that total attributed to the Taliban.

Afghan President: Night Raids Must Stop by NewsLook

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