Coalition admits responsibility for boys' deaths in Afghanistan
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013, 6:24 p.m.
KABUL, Afghanistan — International forces accidentally killed two Afghan boys during an operation in southern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition said Saturday.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, offered his “personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed” and said the coalition takes full responsibility for the deaths.
A statement issued by the coalition said the boys were killed on Thursday when coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces in the Shahid-e Hasas district of Uruzgan province. It says a joint Afghan-NATO investigation team visited the location Saturday and met with local leaders.
The killing of civilians by foreign forces has been a major source of tension with the Afghan government throughout the nearly 12-year-old war.
According to a recent report by the United Nations, 2,754 Afghan civilians were killed last year, down 12 percent from 3,131 in 2011. But the number killed in the second half of last year rose, suggesting that Afghanistan is likely to face continued violence as the Taliban and other militants fight for control following the impending withdrawal of U.S. and allied combat forces.
The U.N. said the Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for 81 percent of the civilian deaths and injuries last year while 8 percent were attributed to pro-government forces. The remaining civilian deaths and injuries could not be attributed to either side.
The number of casualties blamed on U.S. and allied forces decreased by 46 percent, with 316 killed and 271 wounded last year. Most were killed in U.S. and NATO airstrikes, although that number, too, dropped by nearly half last year to 126, including 51 children.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- W.Pa. engineer aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- Eastern European military officers say security, economic ties blunt Russia’s war threat in Ukraine