December 23rd, 2010
04:03 PM ET

NATO probing 2 'inadvertent' deaths in Afghanistan operation

NATO's command in Afghanistan is investigating a military operation in a northern province that it says led to the "inadvertent" deaths of two people.

The incident, which took place Thursday in Faryab province, is among several skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of apparent non-combatants during warfare, a controversial and much-derided occurrence in Afghanistan.

"While we take extraordinary care in conducting operations to avoid civilian casualties, unfortunately in this instance it appears innocent men were mistakenly targeted. We send our sincere condolences to their families and friends," said U.S. Air Force Col. James Dawkins, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

Security forces were trying to stop suspected insurgents in a vehicle during an operation that was "based on specific intelligence targeting a known senior Taliban leader," ISAF said.

The vehicle failed to stop after verbal commands and warning shots, it said, and in the ensuing "engagement of the vehicle" by troops, two people died and two others were wounded. A fifth man who was not hurt was handed over to Afghan security forces.

The troops thought they were targeting an insurgent who has regular contact with Taliban leaders in Pakistan and has alleged ties to a car-bomb network in Faryab, ISAF said.

But local officials at the scene advised the joint forces that they believe the men were not linked to the targeted Taliban leader.

"We take seriously our duty to protect the Afghan population from insurgent violence, and we deeply regret this incident," Dawkins said.

ISAF said it plans to work with Afghan officials to carry out the investigations. I has briefed the Faryab governor on the incident.

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Filed under: Civilian deaths • NATO
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. kiwinz

    no way san jose! our soldiers are profesional!

    December 29, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      You mean professional and trigger happy,don't you? Of course you do!

      December 31, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
      • kiwinz

        you have to be! shoot at us and we'll shoot you dead!

        December 31, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe


        January 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    Bledsoe you little wussy, the forces fighting these animals over there face deadly challenges every day over there and all you can do is talk crap about them. These animals who hide behind civilian population when fighting in towns and cities are themselves terrorists who have treated their own people cruel and inhumane with their sharia laws and punishments and also if you have forgotten allowed al Qaeda to train and plan, attacks including the 9/11 attacks against the United States! Our intelligence may be wrong at times or civilians may get caught in the crossfire because of these low lifes but we are catching and killing more than ever before and at this rate we might see a peace offering.

    December 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bledsoe

    "Inadvertent"? It's more like "accidently on purpose" if I understand NATO. That's the way they do things over there.

    December 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Anybody with half a brain knows that the U.S. wants to take over Iran,Evan. You don't have to keep proving it!!!

      December 31, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |