April 29th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

France says troops killed 4 Afghan civilians

PARIS, France (CNN) - French troops killed four Afghan civilians during a skirmish with Taliban fighters in early April, the French military acknowledged Thursday.

The incident marks the first time the French military has confirmed its forces have killed civilians in the 8-year-old Afghan war, said Adm. Christophe Prazuck, a French military spokesman. It happened in eastern Afghanistan's Kapisa province on April 6, when French troops fired a rocket at a group of about seven Taliban fighters, Prazuck said. 

The French believed no civilians were in the area, Prazuck said. But five civilians were under a nearby tree, and four died as a result of the rocket strike. The fifth was wounded but is recovering, he said.

France is part of the U.S.-led alliance that invaded Afghanistan in 2001, after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. The allies are now trying to roll back advances by the Taliban, the Islamic militia that once ruled most of the country before the attacks and allowed the al Qaeda terrorist network to operate from its territory.

But civilian deaths at the hands of the allied forces have strained ties between the coalition and Afghanistan's government and bred resentment among many Afghans. Haji Farid, an Afghan parliament member from Kapisa province, said Western troops act "very wildly" and "do not pay respect to the Afghan people."

"In the West, they have rights for animals and birds, but they are not paying respect to human beings," he said.

"We are fed up with these words," Farid added. "Why are they killing
innocent people? No one is listening to us."

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Filed under: Civilian deaths • Taliban
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sarcasmo

    We have common sense in the West, too. In the event of a war, vacate the premises immediately if you don't want to get all blowed up or shot.

    It isn't rocket surgery.

    I mean, it isn't usually. In this case it kind of was.

    June 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Spence

    No better way to continue to earn the goodwill of the Afghan people. I'm sure they are so very pleased with the situation. Can anyone really expect things to get anything but worse?

    May 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Archer D. Bowman

    Behruz, I'm not sure if anyone but George knew what George Bush knew when he started the Iraq war.

    I don't think too many people have the experience to respond in peaceful ways to weapons being fired at them, but it could be we could practice a little and think a little before we go shooting off our mouths with the first opinion that pops into our heads.

    BTW, I define thinking as taking the time to identify at least ten solutions to a problem before acting. And the more pressing the problem, the more important it is to sit down and think through a variety of solutions to it.

    But hey, thinking is hard work. Why do you think so few people do it?

    April 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Behruz

    George Bush started this war knowing Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. He didn't care of the fact that the war would cost 1 million lives plus hundreds of thousands injured, many of them American... and many of them innocent women and children.

    April 30, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pete moss

    hey people, rick is an IDIOT – look at the evidence!

    Rick was obviously a moron loooooooooong before 9/11.........

    April 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pete moss

    @rick –


    ..and you refer to others as sheeple!

    April 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Davec

    And Tom, what can I say? You are obviously woefully ignorant. Afghanistan does have a legitimate army and police. Rather than spending your time commenting from ignorance I encourage you to spend your time reading and thinking. Try some ginkobiloba or something. You need it.

    April 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Davec

    Do NOT mess with France.

    April 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. davonskevort

    ok lets think back to ww2... did we not firebomb tokyo.. and dresden? Why should we not kill civilians? if they are around where the bombs and bullets are around.... they know who is who... they know when trouble is comming... they dont want to help.. and they die... tough cookies.... civilians arnt holy cows... civilians are where armys come from.

    April 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gill

    I love how CNN worded this, making it look like the troops did this on purpose.
    Seriously, all the complaining that's done. Why not pick up a rifle and try fighting an enemy that hides among the civilians because they're too weak to fight our troops head on?
    If the citizens never let shit get so screwed up in the 1st place our troops wouldn't be over there in the 1st place.
    Complain about accidental collateral damage done by troops trying to protect a nation to weak to take care of itself. But they didn't complain 15 years ago when the Taliban was beheading people and raping their daughters. Seriously, get real people.
    As much as they don't want us over there our troops don't wanna be over there.
    The troops would rather be at home living it up than sweating to death in a desert with mortars over their heads and IED's one step away.
    Look at Vietnam. When US pulled out the Southern Vitenamese weren't ready to handle the North and it collapsed without us.
    News agencies please stop CONSTANTLY bashing our troops that are bleeding to give you the "freedom of press" that you use everyday.
    Those young men/women aren't over there firing bullets at the Taliban because they really want to. No one enlisted to fight cowards that hide among civilians. They enlisted for honor, comradery, pride and a better life.
    Please give our troops some dignity and stop bashing them at every turn.
    Thanks to the service of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Get home safe to your families.

    April 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tim L.

    They gripe about a few people dieing. it is sad but look at how many civilians died in bombings in WW2 and no I am not talking about the big ones that where dropped to end the war. It's war people die, thats what wars do they kill people hopfully not civilians but sometimes it happens. Do they afgan B!tch when a Suicide bomber blows up multiple people in a market area. Well if they do they do not post it on cnn. us led forces kill less civilians they what there own nut jobs do.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Iraq Paramedic

    MAY GOD BLESS & KEEP US ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. JHaas

    @scubababe Or why is it that American troops are called "occupiers" in Haiti when thousands of French troops have been stationed in France's former colonies in Africa for the past 50 years and no one has ever found anything weird about it.

    On the other hand, as sad as it is when civilians get killed, at least it's the first time in like forever that the French army had the upper hand in any sort of armed confrontation. If they get a taste for it, it's not unreasonable to think that France could become a capable ally. Nah just dreaming.

    April 30, 2010 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Texan76

    Listen people. The Taliban do not have a stnd up army. they hide amongst civialins because they know that we take every precaution not to kill innicent people. If they had a stand up army, the war would have been over in a month. The hide, threaten local village leaders and then they tell them that the Americans are the cause of all their problems. Most people in Afghanistan like us for the most part support us. You ought to see what the taliban does to the villages that dont bow to them. They kill almost everyone and then say the US did it. So, dont believe all that you read or see on the news. you want to know the truth, come to Afghanistan and see that truth. I can talk about the truth, because I have been there 5 times.

    April 30, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Manmohan Lal

    French troops need to learn from Indian troops how to avoid killing civilians.

    and they better take good care of the 5th dude who is recovering because for sure he will come after them once on his two feet.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. kieran

    The reason people make a fuss about the U.S. and Israel is because everone else is looking for a way to besmirch our image as the good guys, to make them look better.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  17. scubababe

    Why is it that no one makes a big deal of France accidentally killing civilians, whereas when the US or Israel accidentally kills civilians, there is all out hatred spewed from around the globe.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  18. jon

    it's called casulties of war, blaim the terrorists still these muslims deserve to be wiped out, they marry and rape little kids.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Emile Zola

    I wonder what would happen if this "accident" were to happen here. I'll bet if it was another country, it would be a nucear war. When soldiers shoot first and ask questions later, they are so scared that they shouldn't be allowed in a war zone. Now, if this would be an isolated incident, I could understand, but not when civilians, innocent civlians to super size that, are killed like it was a Nintendo game. It's time to stop this carnage. Those people have suffered enough and they, I'm sure, didn't have any thing with 9/11 or Saddam Hussein. And let's not forget that we are broke and more billions and billions to kill innocent civilians while America is burning is not the way to bring peace to this world. Regardless of what Monday morning quarterbacks say sitting at home, it's time to pull the plug off this genocide.

    April 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  20. bailoutsos

    Sounds like it is time for coalition troops to pull out.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |