Something from the Leaked Afghan War Logs: record of bloodbath

Afghanistan war logs: How US marines sanitised record of bloodbath | World news | The Guardian.

Here are some excerpts from this Guardian article, which draws on material from the WikiLeaks “Afghanistan war logs”:

On 4 March 2007 a convoy of US marines, who arrived in Afghanistan three weeks earlier, were hit by an explosives-rigged minivan outside the city of Jalalabad.

The marines made a frenzied escape, opening fire with automatic weapons as they tore down a six-mile stretch of highway, hitting almost anyone in their way – teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road. Nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded….

Journalists on the spot gave a more detailed account. They said angry marines tore their cameras from their hands, insisting they delete the pictures they had taken of bullet-pocked vehicles on the roadside. Rahmat Gul, a freelance photographer working for the Associated Press, said two soldiers and a translator came up to him and asked: “Why are you taking pictures? You don’t have permission.” Then they deleted his photographs….

the Afghan Human Rights Commission published a report into the shooting which said the victims included a 16-year-old newlywed girl carrying a bundle of grass and a 75-year-old man walking back from the shops….

a US army colonel had admitted to the Afghans that the shootings were a “terrible, terrible mistake” and “a stain on our honour”. He paid $2,000 to the families of each victim. The special forces commander in Afghanistan, Major General Francis Kearney, ordered the marines to pull the 120-man company out of the country, an unprecedented step.

But there would be no punishment….

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