Protests in Eastern Afghanistan as NATO Kills Civilians in Night Raid

NATO Termed Brothers 'Suspected Insurgents' in Official Statement

Angry villagers took to the streets of Wardak Province today and blocked one of the main thoroughfares in the wake of an overnight raid by NATO troops which killed three brothers in their home.

Locals say that the three brothers were civilians, and were killed in their sleep during the raid. Their father was also detained. NATO insists the father was a “known Taliban leader” and the three brothers were “suspected insurgents.

Night raids have been a serious controversy in Afghanistan, particularly given the history of NATO troops killing civilians and then attempting to cover it up. Gen. Stanley McChrystal had promised on a number of occasions to curb the use of night raids against civilian housing.

But even when McChrystal was there, the night raids continued, albeit at a slowed pace. With him now out of the picture, Gen. David Petraeus is expected to pare away a number of restrictions meant to reduce civilian deaths, citing the damage it does to troop morale. This morning’s raid might be one of the first examples of a policy change.

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.