Relatives of Civilians Slain in NATO Night Raid Threaten Revenge Attacks

Survivors Reject US "Blood Money"

The survivors of a NATO night raid against a house party in Afghanistan’s Paktia Province remain up in arms about the slaying of several of their family members, and say that they have rejected US “compensation” payments of $2,000 per person killed.

I don’t want money, I want justice,” noted Haji Sharabuddin, the head of the family. US forces killed five people, including three women, in the raid. One of the men killed was also a key member of local security forces.

The killings have sparked more questions than most of the night raid civilian deaths in Afghanistan, primarily because NATO issued an initial statement claiming they killed “several insurgents” in a firefight and made a “gruesome discovery” of the slain women.

About a month after the raid, NATO was forced to admit that all of the slain people were civilians and that the “firefight” in question didn’t involve any firing from anyone but the NATO forces. The eight “militants” arrested were all released, without charges.

But the real issue at this point is that, other than the “blood money” offered by the US, officials have made no effort to hold anyone responsible for the killings, and officially the US refuses to even identify who was involved in the raid, citing “national and strategic security.

To Sharabuddin and his family, the thought of his loved ones being added quietly to the growing number of “extrajudicial killings” in the nation is unfathomable. He has suggested that if officials do not do anything to rectify the situation, he and his relatives will launch revenge attacks, up to and including suicide attacks. Though the US did not actually find any militants in their invasion of the home, they may well have created several.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.