US Marines Kill Afghan Toddler ‘Mistaken for the Enemy’

US Shrugs Off Killing, Citing Bad Weather

Outrage is spreading across Afghanistan yet again, after an incident early today in the Helmand Province where US Marines attacked and killed a four-year-old boy.

The US has shrugged off the incident so far, saying that the weather was “dusty” that day and they just assumed the four-year-old was probably the enemy. NATO has said it will “investigate,” but reiterated that the US had taken “all possible measures” to avoid civilian deaths, except for apparently the measure of not shooting at children.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai was quick to condemn the killing, saying they have repeatedly warned the US against military operations against civilian homes and villages.

Though the young age of the child makes this a particularly major outrage, it is not uncommon for US troops to kill random civilians in this manner, and NATO investigations, to the extent they’re ever completed and announced publicly, virtually always exonerate the killers as having acted “appropriately.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of