Early this morning, the United States reported that its forces in the Khost Province had attacked and killed “four combatants,” ostensibly saving the lives of “fifteen women and 30 children.” It mentioned in passing that one of those killed in the attack, which at the time they claimed was a defensive action, was a woman. They added that another militant was wounded.
By the end of the day, the military was forced to admit that the four people killed were not in fact combatants, but a mother and three of her children. The person wounded in the attack was in fact an infant, who died later of his wounds.
The house belonged to a colonel in the Afghan National Army, and it was his family that was killed. The woman killed was a teacher, and two of the others killed were a 10 year old girl and a 15 year old boy. The military concedes now that they “do not believe that this family was involved with militant activities.”
The killings were the latest in several incidents where the US killed civilians which it initially claimed to be militants. Another incident in Khost just a week prior involved two farmers killed by the side of the road for being “military-aged males” who were outside after curfew.