US Special Forces killed five people in a pre-dawn raid on a home belonging to a local mayor in the Kunduz Province. In its official statement the military declared that the operation was against a “terrorist network” and that the five killed were “militants.” Four others were also reportedly detained.
Yet Afghan officials say that all five of the people killed in the attack were civilians. Provincial police chief Abdul Rehman Actash said those killed included the district mayor’s driver, his cook, two of his guards, and a guest from Sari Pul Province. Though the US insisted the operation was carried out with help from local police, the police say they weren’t even informed of the operation until after the fact.
A growing number of Afghan civilian deaths caused by US and allied forces have strained relations between the two. Last month a similar raid killed five children in Oruzgan Province. The Australian military insisted that those killings were “in accordance with the rules of engagement.”