NATO ‘Regrets’ Killing Children in Southern Afghan Attack

Backs Off Speculation Kids Might Have Been Taliban

NATO has issued a statement today expressing “deep regret” for the killing of three children in the Helmand Province over the weekend, saying that the deaths were “accidental” and promising further investigation. They also claimed two actual Taliban were killed

The comments were a stark contrast to initial NATO comments about the killings, in which they insisted that even though the three slain were between 8 and 12 years old, all of them were “Taliban.”

Family members say the children were sent out to gather dung, which is dried and used as fuel during the harsh winters in mountainous Afghanistan. Local tribal leaders confirmed bags of the dung were found at the attack site.

What wasn’t found at the site were the two “Taliban” supposedly killed in the attack, and while provincial officials echoed NATO’s claim that two Taliban in the area were killed, locals insist they never saw any bodies except for the three children.

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.