Published On: Fri, Mar 7th, 2014

NATO Air Raid Kills Five Afghan Army Soldiers

nsnbc : The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) erroneously killed five soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) on Thursday. The deadly incident took place in the Logar province of the Middle Eastern country, some 60 kilometers from the capital Kabul. The killing of the Afghan soldiers has been confirmed and condemned by the Afghan National Army and the Afghan administration of President Hamid Karzai. The incident happened against the backdrop of continued Afghan – US tensions over the status and presence of US forces in the country beyond 2014.

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Only hours after the killing of the Afghan soldiers, ISAF released a statement, confirming the incident and vowing that it was a mistake that would not be repeated in the future. The statement reads:

“We can confirm that at least five Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel were accidentally killed this morning during an operation in eastern Afghanistan”.

ISAF also states that an investigation is being conducted to determine the circumstances that led to what it called “this unfortunate incident”, adding:

“Our condolences go out to the families of the ANA soldiers who lost their lives and were wounded. … We value the strong relationship with our Afghan partners, and we will determine what actions will be taken to ensure incidents like this do not happen again.”

The Chinese Xinhua news agency quotes the spokesman for the Logar provincial government, Deen Mohammad Darvish that the aircrafts of ISAF dropped bombs in Bandoka area of Charkh district at 03:00 a.m. local time today, leaving five soldiers dead and seven others injured.

The Charkh district in Logar province is widely considered as an area where Afghanistan’s Taliban maintains a relatively strong presence and enjoys relatively strong popular support. Analysts state to nsnbc that the incident is playing into the hands of the Taliban and with it, in the hands of the United States who needs the Taliban’s military and terrorist activities as a pretext for maintaining a US military presence in the country beyond 2014.

The incident happened against the backdrop of severely stressed relations between the Karbul government of President Hamid Karzai and the Obama administration in Washington. Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejects signing the bilateral status of forces agreement dubbed “Bilateral Security Agreement – BSA” to authorize the presence of US forces in the country beyond 2014.

Karzai and Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga (Grand Parliament), reject signing the BSA on the basis of several contentious points, including:

  • The fact that the BSA would authorize unilateral military actions of US troops in the country without coordination with the Afghan National Army and the government.
  • The fact that the BSA would authorize US troops to search civilian homes in what is designated as “in special circumstances” and as “anti-terrorism operations”.
  • The fact that the BSA would grant immunity to US troops, even in cases where war crimes, which would be prosecutable under international law, national law or US law would be committed.

Afghan media, quote President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, as condemning the deadly air raids and as saying that the President has ordered an investigation into the murder of Afghan National Army soldiers by the NATO-led ISAF forces in the Logar province.

Ch/L - nsnbc 07.03.2014

Read more in our coverage of Afghanistan with news, analysis and opinion, in nsnbc international – your daily independent.

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