NATO Raid Kills Four Taliban, Three Civilians

Officials Gloss Over Killings in Public Statement

by Jason Ditz, October 29, 2012

NATO forces launched a pre-dawn raid against the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan today, a raid aimed at an unnamed “Taliban leader.” The troops killed four “suspected Taliban” and also killed three civilian bystanders.

There was no word, from the official statement, what happened to the “Taliban leader,” and the statement from the Pentagon also glossed over the civilian deaths, insisting only that several “insurgents” were slain.

The civilians were a family of three, a local farmer, his wife, and his 14-year-old son. The Afghan government confirmed the killings were the result of the “joint operation,” and a funeral was held today for them.

Night raids have been hugely controversial in Afghanistan, particularly because so many of them have ended with civilians killed. The US pact to keep troops in Afghanistan through 2024 included a promise to give the Afghan government oversight control over night raids, though officials conceded at the time they had no plans to go along with that pledge.

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