Afghan Police Chief Says US Shot Farmers, US Says Were Militants

Second Incident of Civilian Killings in Past Few Days

Khost Province police chief Abdul Qayum Bagzoi reported this morning that US forces had killed two innocent farmers just outside of Khost city. The attack came just days after an attack by US forces in Kunduz Province killed five civilians inside the home of a local mayor.

Once again, US officials have denied that those killed were civilians, yet the case against those killed seems remarkably weak. US spokesman Col. Greg Julian reports that the patrol saw two “military-aged males” digging outside after curfew. They were then killed. Col. Julian declared that “they were not civilians to the best of our knowledge.”

The rising death toll across Afghanistan is complicating President Obama’s attempt to present a new “comprehensive strategy” for the war there, and the government’s objections to repeated killings by the international forces in driving a rift between the two.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.