March 26th, 2010
09:07 AM ET

ISAF: Afghan civilians killed by troops in accident

KABUL, Afghanistan - Investigators say troops accidentally caused the deaths of two civilians in eastern Afghanistan when they returned fire after an insurgent attack, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Friday.

The attack - which took place Wednesday in the Bak district of Khost province - prompted a joint ISAF-Afghan force to respond with "indirect fire," according to the results of a preliminary military investigation. Indirect fire refers to shooting from a position without a direct line of sight to the target.

Along with the two deaths, four civilians, including a young boy, were wounded. Afghan and coalition force officials met with village elders and relatives after the incident.

Civilian deaths during the Afghan war have undermined international and Afghan government efforts to win grassroots support in the fight against the Taliban.

"We take accidents such as this very seriously and we incorporate investigative findings into our operations to improve our procedures," said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, ISAF Joint Command spokeswoman. "We remain fully committed to the people of Afghanistan and we take every precaution to prevent civilian casualties."

Post by:
Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Enrichment

    Do you people know any HISTORY at all. One of the biggest post-Vietnam problems was addicion to drugs that started during deployments. YEAH...your right...those grunts out running around in 120 degree heat and dogging IEDs should just "get tougher" and dream of getting back to the base for a couple of days rest and recouperation with a nice cup of hot coffee, a good workout, and nice read. STRESS science is real.....is does not BUILD character, it breaks people down. The reality is that this generation of young military think of some of these amenities as a little bit of comfort from home and it does hlep them. They can worry about their cholesterol level when they get home.

    March 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 2ndBatt"A"

    Tragic, however a forseeable part of war. Name a war where civilian casualties haven't occured in recorded history. Soldiers know this, do the best they can to minimize it and continue the fight.The ignorant and blind fall prey to propaganda.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. OIF/OEF VET

    Amy, your comments on luxuries is of someone who does not know what goes on. Only Soldiers and Marines that live on FOBs get to eat all of that... Infantrymen and other combat MOS's that live n tiny COPs or in a house takin over for a COP, we are not afforded those luxuries and I could care less if that stuff is in country. It makes people fat and lazy and complacent!!!! As far as civilian casualties goes things happen that sometimes are out of are hands when we are in firefights both in Iraq and Afghanistan, but be advised that the ground commanders will usually be investigated if something does happen...

    March 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. seebeck

    OK I'm in Afghanistan right now as we speak. these people are all family and they will kill each other if we don't be there to stop them. i say take over and push them into Pakistan then invade and concur.

    March 29, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. James -- Atlanta

    Our troops should be able to return fire when they are attacked by the insurgents.The civilians are well aware of the risks by now.

    March 29, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    This isnt news .... war is war ...people die....thats what war is. Wont be long till you will crying about a few stray dogs being shot....Best you news people just stay home where you belong and cover womens garden clubs and things like that. All you people need to know is when the war is over and that WE won it.

    March 29, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Slee

    Amazing... Depending on where you site on the subject or see the issue the title of this story could have been shaped many ways. Maybe, Terrorist use village as shield. War is Blind. Taliban killing Afghanisi's to gain ground in directly.

    And maybe if you are going to be accurate about explain what happened and more importantly ow it happened don't misrepresent indirect fire as "Indirect fire refers to shooting from a position without a direct line of sight to the target". While accurate it very misleading in its depiction. While indirect from the actual point of origination there is a person with "Eyes On" who is giving specific and probably laser designation and probably and exact GPS L & L to the target. With todays technology they are hitting what they shoot at. The issue is the Terrorist melting into the population to shoot at Coalition forces. While fire in defense of their own live trying to kill the enemy they very well may hit civilians. Exactly what the enemy wants to happen.

    So what is the story here... Is it Civilians were killed? Is it they were killed by Afghani and Coalition forces defending themselves (trying to stay alive) against terrorist who kill little girls. Is it they were killed by indirect fire? Or is it a poorly written story that missed the mark on several levels and hit on just a few leaving the audience who don't have the knowledge base or battlefield experience to understand what is happening out there and what more than likely happened in this case. while my heart goes out to these poor people who are caught in the middle. Not giving a full and accurate depiction to the audience only make it harder for those who are at risk to protect those poor people.

    Michael... Will be in Afghanistan in 8 days to see for myself.

    March 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Trey

    Well I am a Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign War Vet and I think Ms. Amy you are being a little dramatic. Yes we do live in harsh enviroments for a long period of time and yes we do live without the luxuries that we have at home for a long period of time. The thing is I raised my hand to do just that and to give up all those plush things. Now besides trying to make people feel sorry for our situation, which I don't fell sorry for it since we are at war. I think people should feel sorry for the people stuck in the middle of a war that don't want to be stuck in, in the first place. I am at war with people who want to harm us and innocent people that don't want nothing to do with the Taliban or Al Queda. So yes its sad that that had to happen and yes I agree that accidents happen. So if you don't like being in the military cause for the conditions you are in, get out. For everyone else I am praying for you and lets beat these guys and get back home.

    March 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Active Army

    I can't see how any True Blue Amercians would ever say we shouldn't have anything nice, until you step up deploy 3 to 6 times as 12 month tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, eat MRE's for 6 months straight, take cold showers, miss your childrens birthdays and Christmas's every other year. I think you should not have any opinion on what we don't need. I am an Active duty Veteran with multiple deployments as an Infantryman and I know the risk and I know how bad it can be, and if my Soldier can come back after a patrol and get an ice cream or burger after risking his life day after day for Americans who on any given Sunday can go mall walking risk free of IED's and Snipers and get their own Starbucks or Baskin Robbins! My Soldiers Deserve and have earned the Right to get a simple burger when they have a chance and whatever little nice thing I could possibly provide for them, since at any given moment life as they new it can end.

    March 28, 2010 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sam the Troll

    I think this war crime deserves a special report from Mr. Goldstone and the UN, dontcha think? Oh wait – it wasn't the Israelis – okay – scratch the report ... it's totally cool to fire into a civilian area without a direct line of sight to the target ...

    March 28, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. dadashark

    We have changed our rules of engagement. Our soldiers are no longer allowed to return fire if the bad guys fire at them from a group of civilians. The bad guys know this, so they are now careful to use civilians for shields. More casualties on our side and more civilians are being killed. I work with contractor's who used to work there. They say it is not safe to go back. When will we have a commander in chief who is more concerned with our welfare and less concerned about the opinioins of those who hate us.

    March 28, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Daniel

    As long as these right-wing thugs run things in Washington,this carnage will only continue,but what do they care as long as they conquer the Middle East?

    March 27, 2010 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jaxon

    Too bad this story is a fabrication by ISAF propaganda to seek sympathy from Western Europeans for support of their rationalization for increased troop deployment.

    "A consistent and iterative strategic communication program across NATO troop contributors that taps into the key concerns of specific Western European audiences could provide a buffer if today’s apathy becomes tomorrow’s opposition to ISAF, giving politicians greater scope to support deployments to Afghanistan

    March 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Amy

    This is not Desert Storm! These Soldiers and Marines are there for 6 mos to a year- and most of their living conditions are horrendous. I challenge anyone to give up all restaurants, movies, TV, fast food, alcohol, your family and friends for a year, add wearing 60 pounds of gear to work everyday, and then MAYBE you can weigh in and have an opinion on this.

    An Operation Iraqi Freedom Vet

    March 26, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. Iraq Paramedic

    This is allways a sad part of war but it happens. These Afgan people don't seem to speak out when women's faces are cut off or when Taliban use them for human sheilds or when the Taliban kill them for not cooperating or even speaking out against the situation. The only reason they say anything to our forces is because they know they will get paid. It is unfortunate that these people are so uneducated that the evil among them can rule them so easely. I would offer that the only real hope for places like this is decades of old fashion colonial rule to educate them & to show them true moral human rights. May GOD Bless & keep each & everyone on earth.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |