A night raid carried out by US and Afghan troops led to the deaths of two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials in an atrocity that NATO then tried to cover up, survivors told the Times of London. The Feb. 12 operation was a botched pre-dawn assault on a police officer’s home outside Gardez, capital of Paktia province. In a statement after the raid titled “Joint force operating in Gardez makes gruesome discovery,” NATO claimed the force had found the women’s bodies “tied up, gagged and killed” in a room. But more than a dozen survivors, officials, police chiefs and a religious leader interviewed at and around the scene of the attack maintain that the perpetrators were US and Afghan gunmen. The identity and status of the soldiers is unknown. (London Times, March 13)
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Another NATO atrocity in Afghanistan
NATO troops killed four civilians and injured 18 other passengers after opening fire on a bus in Kandahar on April 12. The troops apparently fired on the bus after it refused to stop for a peacekeeping patrol. President Hamid Karzai, confirming a woman and child were among the dead, immediately condemned the killings, said the shooting was a violation of NATO’s commitment to protect civilians. (Canwest News Service, April 12)