NATO Admits Killing Civilians in February Afghan Raid

Finally Cops to Killings After Initially Blaming Insurgents

Nearly two months after the high profile night raid in Afghanistan’s Paktia Province and after several official denials, NATO has finally admitted to killing all five civilians, including two Afghan government employees.

NATO’s first official acknowledgement of the raid claimed they engaged in a “fire fight” with insurgents known to be hiding at the house and made a “gruesome” discovery of three slain women bound and gagged in an adjacent room of the house. Two of the women were later revealed to be pregnant at the time.

Though the family initially disputed the claims, the real holes in the official story began to develop a month later, when Rear Admiral Greg Smith admitted they had no evidence the “firefight” involved a single shot fired by anyone but the NATO forces, and all the arrested “insurgents” were released. NATO also attempted to pay them “compensation” for the slain civilians, but were rebuffed.

But all of this still leaves an enormous loose string to tie up. If there was no “gruesome discovery” as claimed, then the US special forces responsible for the raid not only killed those pregnant women, but bound and gagged their corpses to try to cover it up (which is what the family claimed the day after it happened, to the dismissal of everyone).

Incredibly, however, NATO is still insisting that they have no evidence that the soldiers acted “inappropriately” in the slaughter, and even though Afghan government officials confirmed that the troops were removing evidence from the scene for seven hours before letting the Afghan security forces in to inspect it they maintain that nothing resembling a cover-up has occurred.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.