May 20th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

U.S. military probing alleged soldier killings of Afghan civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. military has launched a criminal investigation into allegations that a small number of U.S. soldiers were responsible for the unlawful deaths of as many as three civilians in
Afghanistan, the military said Thursday.

The case includes allegations of illegal drug use, assault and conspiracy, the United States Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement.

One soldier has been put in pre-trial confinement, but no charges have been put forward. The probe started earlier in May after investigators received "credible information" about the case from the soldiers' unit.

The incident comes amid dogged efforts by the U.S. military to avoid civilian casualties during war operations, such as raids and airstrikes. The public outcry against such deaths and injuries has undermined support for international and Afghan government troops.

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Filed under: Civilian deaths
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. I hope people see the irony in my prior comment

    Seriously, several of the commenters here should put themselves in the shoes of the Afghans. Imagine you live in a city, like Baltimore, and the Russians decided they were going to clean the city out of forces opposed to it. And they'd come in and set up barricades and shoot into marketplaces occasionally, maybe drop a few errant bombs on the Inner Harbor. How would you feel? The true bluers just do not get it because they do not possess empathy.

    May 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • super7

      you just nailed it.

      May 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Isn't NATO doing the same thing?I get quite sick and tired of the right-wing news media who back in the 1980's lambasted the Russians now are belly-hooing the NATO forces.This double standard is revolting.

      May 21, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. justathought

    i ask myself everyday this question, why are afghanitans so mad when the NATO forces try to help them get rid of the people that have been oppresing them for so many years and mistakenly kill a civilian? this war is not a conventional war, the militants try to blend in with the crowd to make themselfs less vulnerable. lets not forget that the taliban and al qaeida are killing civilians on a daily basis, in my opinion they have terrorized their people in order to to grow illegal drugs where ever they please

    May 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Afghan guy

      For God's sake you are brainwashed. But you can't even spell right. Forget it kid.

      May 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Exctly

        Can't spell, can't think.

        May 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. murderer

    launch the nukes and end this war president Obama

    May 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    So how many Afghans were in the 911 planes? And where did they learn to fly those planes? Just wondering.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • sto

      that was never why we went to Afghanistan Joe. We went there because the Taliban were harboring and protecting al-qaeda, and because that's where the terrorists were being trained. There would never have been a war if the Taliban had done the right thing and given up al-qaeda, rather than protecting them. Read some history. Afghanis generally don't like the Arabs in their land any more than we do.

      May 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank


      9/11 was planned and financed with the government support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. You were given ample opportunity to turn over the conspirators. Instead, you chose to join them. That’s why we bombed the crap out of you. That’s why you are hiding in caves and poppy fields.

      You can't hide forever.

      May 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Manmohan Lal

    It is NOT upto USA to leave Afghanistan anymore. It all upto us now !

    We control the situation in Afghanitan through the current leaders (majority of which are Northern Alliance and staunchly supported by India).

    USA will only leave when India decides they should leave. Enough said.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Manmohan I dont know where you getting your information from but anyhow as I said before Buy some Dall and make chicken curry. Your mad because Afghanistan once controlled India??? Tell your other Indian friends that stop dreaming about controlling Afghanistan or USA down here in US Camps Indians are cleaning bathrooms oh let me put it this way cleaning our shi***t so Have a good day come again.

      May 20, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Manmohan Lal

    Mr. Bil..

    You dont understand. India will never let peace be brought back in Afghanistan and as long as there is no peace, USA and allies CAN NOT leave.

    Before the USA invaded Afghanistan, there were hardly any Indians in Pakhtun area (90%) of Afghanistan. Now, we are all over Afghanistan with 16+ consulates, cultural centres and safe houses all fully engaged in attaining our objectives to annex Pakistan.

    The presence of USA and allies is a great blessing for India. By provinding weopons to Pakistani talebans fighting agianst Pakistan through our proxies, we have successfully managed to force Pakistan to remove troops from our borders and therfore, much much easier for us to run over the thinner line of Pakistani defences and annex Pakistan and complete the dream of Maha bharat (Greater India).

    Unless and untill our objective of annexing Pakistan is not achievable, it is in our interests to keep the hostilities in Afghanistan hot and make certain the presence of USA and allies in Afghanistan.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • sto

      If I were India, I would be verry careful about doing such things to antagonize the U.S. We might just form a stronger relationship with China, and end up crushing India militarily and economically into the next dimension. India should tread lightly, given it's precarious geopolitical situation with China (the beast on it's boarder).

      May 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |

    Nato should get out and let the Taliban get back in control of that toilet bowl you call home. You bad mouth the civilian deaths killed in a war zone but none of you Afghans mention the civilians killed by the Taliban because your scared of them. The US Marines and Soldiers are not afraid to take the fight to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Don't you remember 9/11or were you too smoking hash? Afghans dont have the "GUTS" to get in this fight so stop you complaining.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Afghan guy

      There were no Afghans involved in 9/11. You are an idiot who can't even spell the only language he knows.

      May 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        Afghan guy:

        9/11 was planned and financed with the government support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. You were given ample opportunity to turn over the conspirators. Instead, you chose to join them. That’s why we bombed the crap out of you. That’s why you are hiding in caves and poppy fields.

        You can't hide forever.

        May 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Afghan guy

        Frank, first of all, the white man's big talking is an attempt to make up for the lack of size down there.

        You didn't bomb the crap outta Afghans. Afghans aren't afraid of drones, AC-130s, your me, the Soviets had even worse and were more brutal. I remember the Hinds.

        You are a redneck at some corn farm. Al Qaida financed the Taliban gov't. The Taliban gov't couldn't finance Al Qaida's missions. The former spokesperson of Taliban said that if they had been given 2 more weeks, they were turning Osama in. But you with your redneck big talking thought you could make the Afghan people submit? You hadn't read their history. You should be praying that only 2000 Afghans are fighting you, not 32 million, or you would be leaving with your pants down. Again, this is why you rednecks have been spending near 1 trillion dollars to buy off the Afghan people for awhile so you can get out.

        May 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Manmohan Lal

    USA needs to learn from India. We kill Kashmiris all the time in the name of terrorists.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Manmohan Dont worry about USA we know what we doing. Buy yourself some Dall and make chicken curry. Many of your Indians are working in Afghanistan because your country cant support them you need to be worry about that Not USA my friend. We are doing the Best we can.

      May 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Angry Afghan Man

    No problem. This is more media crap from Pentagon to fool the idiots that they are doing something about civilian deaths. No crap. they will be cleared of all charges as soon as possible. If you think the US military cared about foreign civilians, then we would be seeing soldiers tried for the 4 million Vietnamese deaths. The thousands in Fallujah where illegal gas was used. In Afghanistan plenty more. I am an Afghan and I want Nato to get out now. Afghans have suffered enough at the hands of Western imperialists, from the days of Brits to today. Afghanistan wouldn't have to fight the Soviets had it not been for the West's intervention in the country. King Daud made a mistake by siding with the West and later Mujahedeen made a mistake fighting the Soviets. They should've allowed the Soviets build Afghanistan and today Afghanistan wouldn't be a ruined desert occupied by Nato bases getting ready for future energy battles with China/russia.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • welltodo

      Nobody cares about Afghans. Dirty little animals.

      May 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • death

        we fight and kill afgan lets fight for rights

        May 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Afghan guy

        Only God cares for Afghans. If you believe in God and the day of judgement, you will be standing there and answering God for the crimes against Afghan children.

        May 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sto

      we are in a war. Vietnam was a war. WW2 was a WAR. so, are we expected to make up for everybody we kill in a war? The world is not fair, it can be an ugly, unfair place...get over it. There are wars, people die, sometimes innocents die. there are bad people in every walk of life, that will never change. I wouldnt judge the whole U.S. military based on a few soldiers...though, inevitably, that's what you will do.

      May 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Afghan guy

        So you are admitting you are warmongers and criminals? It's all I want to know.

        May 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • CRogers

        Afghan Guy –
        The Afghan nation has been at war long before this current one. When you're not at war with another nation, you are engaged in tribal wars with yourselves. You are all born and raised to fight. It's all you know. So, who are the warmongers? The Westerners, who are fighting to keep at bay the very people who would do them harm and destroy their way of life, or the Afghans, who engage in fighting as a way to alleviate boredom? If anything, our current conflict has at least united the Afghan tribes, whether it be for us or against us. Unity can't be all that bad, can it?

        May 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      You have extremly good english writting skills for an Afgan man.

      May 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Afghan guy

        Thank you. I can speak 4 languages. I am a manager at an IT company. I plan on returning to Afghanistan when it sees a bit of peace and the invaders leaving. I plan on opening IT companies in Kabul.

        May 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • CRogers

      Had the West not intervened in the Soviet invasion, many more Afghans would have been mercilessly slaughtered and their livlihoods and religion would have been stripped away. So you're welcome.

      May 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Afghan guy

        CRogers, what difference does it make, to die at the hands of Russians or Americans? Americans came to Afhganistan for the sole purpose to kill. The Russians came to establish/protect Communism rather than kill. The Mujahedeen were a bunch of stupid kids and only fought because they were fooled by the CIA and they were offered money. I remember CIA agents telling them that the god-less Soviets were bad because they wanted to ban religion. BS. The bigger threat is the West's attempt to change the whole culture. The Soviets had many Muslim Republicans.

        May 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      You've said it all,Angry Afghan Man.

      May 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • chime

      No Afghans are not "dirty little animals," you show your ignorance by saying that. I'm a firm believer in looking in your own backyard before looking in others. However, the rest of the world see fit to try to impose their beliefs on others. Misinterpretation of the Kuran and brainwashing of children has a lot of Muslim extremists targeting any and all non-Muslim as the infidels and we all must die because we don't share their personal, religious beliefs. So we fight this fight to keep these extremists in their own yard, instead of polluting ours! The worst thing we could do is imbed "for profit" media in with our troops. Now even a BM is questioned and reported on. What about the public stonings? Those okay since their that countries customs? Prejudice media who only report the extreme to make profit. Suggest you read "Born to Hate" by an author who lived through and survived this and now has a bounty on her head because of her books.

      May 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tombo

      For the record angry afghan man. I myself spent 16 months in your God forsaken country. There are actually some people that actually care about your people. Its your own people that dont care about each other. An example would be when we would go into a town and hand out soccer balls to the kids of the town, the talliban would come in after we could no longer stay and kill the kids who had possession of a soccer ball. And as far as the russians we did in ten days what the russians could not do in ten years, and that is let your people go outside with a less chance of getting yourself shot. And about all these innocent civilians you talk of that we shoot. If you spent one day in your country, which judging by your english you havent, you know as well as I do that not one person in that town over ten years old is completly innocent. I myself watched as NATO alongside the US Forces built 2 schools with our bare hands and money and your people burnt them down and when we actually caught them, (notice I said caught not killed) They were the same people we had been working with for 8 months. When our forefathers came to America they did it with sacrifice in their hearts. Yes innocent natives were hurt in the process but we learned from our mistakes and made up for them how we could. As for our forefathers like i said they came in this country willing to sacrifice. My experience with your people is you are unwilling to sacrifice for longer than a day. In short there is one thing that your entire country lacks and that is integrity and that is why you will die one day never knowing what could have been if you just had an ounce of sacrifice.

      May 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Afghan guy

        Tombo, if you spent some time there, you should know something about Afghans. Afghans do not accept occupiers. They burned those schools because it would've lead to the victory of the occupiers. Afghans sacrifice, just not for invaders. 90% of Afghans of Eastern Afghanistan region died fighting Alexander. 80% of afghans died/refugees fighting the Soviets. They don't want to live under anyone else's rule. They will sacrifice and fight for their way once the Nato leaves. Most Afghans dislike the Nato for the fact they kill civilians and the fact that those fighting Nato are other Afghans, guilty or not.

        May 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tombo

        You, sir, are a absolute idiot. It must be that afghan education you recieved at the schools we built you. The weapons you ran off the russians with...remember those, like the rocket launchers, and the thousands of AK-47s. Ring a bell? Guess what. We gave them too you, you ingrate. And yes we did invade afghanistan, I will give you that but that was because you idiots let the taliban rule get out of hand. There was a point where you had some peace there. But due to corruption and lack of education you lost your will. Sir I can not tell you how many people i interogated that said the koran states to kill all americans. That is how ignorant your people are to think that the koran even talks about america in present tense is just plan dumb. You seem to like statistics here is a nice fact for you: 96% of afghans cant even read your own language and when you go to your religious leader if he is corrupt he is told to tell your people this. America had not even been discovered yet when it was written. Do you see what I am saying. As far as the sacrifice you talk about if 80% sounds like sacrifice to you I am suprised you made it if you were around then because sacrifice means going to war with the enemy not waiting for a platoon of russian tanks to come to your village. village of people vs tanks DUMB! Yes I will say you guys put up a good fight but you are all cowards in the end. To believe that the taliban is going to pay 20000 us dollars to your family if you blow yourself up for ALLAH is just stupid and believe it or not it is happening right now somewhere in your country (quick go save them, I will be here when you get back). Sir I have friends over there right now that I care about deeply. But to think that if they come back home your people will do what we can barely do ourselves you are sorely mistaken. In all sir i feel sorry for you! If you morons would just cooperate with us long enough we would be out of your country. But we cant trust you to go home with out calling your taliban friend next mud hut down and suggesting where to set your next poorly placed IED which buy the way kills innocent people 50% of the time. Now thats sacrifice!

        May 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • JLP

      As a man you were probably happy with the Taliban, but if you have a wife or daughter, see what they think of life under the Taliban. If you folks had not given a safe haven to Bin Laden, we never would have come to your country in the first place.

      May 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbs

      Remember you have created the problem, thats why we are over there. If the Taliban didnt go after the World Trade Centers we would not be there. Second, were do you think the recruiting was coming from, in Afghan, so blame your country why we are there. It makes me angry that when we make comments about your religion and beliefs, everyone throws a fit. It seems it is okay for your people to make comments about how we practice our religion and beliefs, but god forbid we mention your prophet. You are killing your own people, we are not, your suicide bombers kill your own people. So my comment to you is GROW UP!!! If I had it my way, nuke them all over there, we are not the problem, you are.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • R

      You most certainly don't live here in the US. Land of the Free by any chance do you

      May 20, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |

      I would like to start off by saying, I am in Kabul. I conduct convoys throughout Kabul on a weekly basis. I do not understand why people speak on subject that do not pertain to them. For the angry Agfhan man, I work with Afghans on a daily basis. You will not sit on the internet and talk about how America has done nothing for your country. We have brought you a president (whether he does anything or not lies in the hands of afghans). We have provided economic stability by employing thousands of workers with contracts for services, construction, cleaning etc. I have made connections with many afghans, and are grateful for us coming here to try and shed some light on a country that has been at war for so many years. Millions of people have migrated to the local Kabul area for job opportunities, ALL OF WHICH IS BECAUSE OF AMERICA. I would like for you to pause, stop feeling so liberal for a second, and think about what we have done for this country.

      afghans are not bad people, they are very hospitable and have the potential to become a very prosperous nation.


      America does not want your country. We don't want your people, we want to empower them to become a nation of their own.

      May 21, 2010 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. tango

    I'd like to see the headline "Taliban probing alleged insurgent killings of innocent Afghan civilians." Too bad they don't give a rats a$$.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • m1sterlurk

      Tango: That's because we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the Taliban.

      May 20, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jbs

      Thats a great line, insurgents are killing there own people. AS for the message from the Afghan guy, you said god will judge us for killing innocent people. How about God will judge the insurgents for killing their own people, innocent men, women, and children. Nothing but a bunch of animals with no respect for human life, regardless who you are.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NATO Afghan dilemma

    Recovery of the central Afghan government over the town of Marja, the last major stronghold of the Taliban in southern Helmand province, witnessed some positive developments for the NATO coalition in this direction. However, the victorious advance of the coalition of NATO overshadowed the government's decision to withdraw the Netherlands in August 2010 from Afghanistan, its military contingent, numbering 2000 soldiers. The output of Dutch troops will leave vulnerable to penetration Taliban key Afghan provinces.

    If you realize the Netherlands announced plans, it could encourage other member countries of NATO to reconsider its participation in the Afghan war, continued for more than eight years. That, in turn, will create certain difficulties for U.S. President Barack Obama, who will face a split in the ranks of the international military contingent.

    The output of Dutch troops can break the agreement as well as balance. After all, other European countries can say: if the Dutch knocking, we too leave. And besides, it still would mean that the U.S. and UK will have to take additional military commitments and burden in Afghanistan. The Netherlands Government demolishes the NATO coalition in a time when the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has made every effort to encourage their European allies to send more troops to Afghanistan even.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      It's good to see that there are some good people in the Dutch government with a sense of decency and moral principles.

      May 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • sto

      let them leave. we'll handle it more efficiently on our own.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |