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Night Raids Continue To Threaten People's Lives

15 February 2016

By Shahamat Emarat

Although America announced an end to its combat role in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, on the ground the combat is very much ongoing. American-led night raids, air bombardment and precision strikes continue killing civilians in spite of the superficial end of foreign combat role.

Last month for example, foreign and Kabul security forces raided a home in Dorazgay district of Khost, killing two civilians in the process.

To prove the innocence of the deceased, local residents brought the dead bodies to Khost City – in front of the governor's office – and there held demonstrations against the injustices of the Kabul regime.

This two-headed brainchild of John Kerry has made a mess of Afghan national, political, economic and social justice issues. Yet its biggest failure has been the complete disregard for Afghan civilian casualties.

Due to the fact that Ashraf Ghani has unreservedly authorized – even encouraged – foreign led night raids on civilians while also consistently calling for indiscriminate aerial bombardment whenever his forces are on the verge of retreat, we have seen an exponential rise in civilian casualties since he came to office. Below we mention a couple of these incidents to illustrate this point.

On new year's eve 2015, Kabul's security forces blindly and disproportionately attacked house in Sangeen district of Helmand province. Tragically that house was the venue of a wedding on that night and the indiscriminate bombardent caused great grief – killing and injuring 150 civilians including women and children. Circumstantial evidence clearly showed that the house was deliberately targeted in retaliation for Mujahideen attacks on those forces.

Similarly on June the 5th local residents in the embattled district of Khost province were gathered for the funeral procession of a tribal elder and when returning back from there, these individuals were targeted by ‘precision strikes' of American operated drones, killing 35 civilians.

The local elders vehemently condemned this callous incident and demanded that the perpetuators be trialed and brought to justice. They produced undeniable evidence to show that the deceased were local civilians and not Taliban fighters as had been customarily claimed by the ISAF forces.

Over the course of this conflict we have seen dozens of such large scale atrocities as well as hundreds of similar breaches albeit on a smaller scale. The frequency and impunity of these attacks suggest that either they are deliberate part of the military policy or otherwise else ISAF and is internal allies operate under extreme negligence, perhaps never before displayed by any internationally-endorsed occupying force.

Despite what the partial UN issued reports on civilian casualties claim, it is abundantly clear that indiscriminate aerial bombardment has been the biggest contributor to large scale civilian casualties while the most common cause of civilian casualties are raids by professional killers in the depth of the night who are completely out of their depth and unaccustomed to the locals.

Perhaps if the UN verified the civilian casualties more broadly and listened to both parties with equal conviction, its reports will more accurately reflect the plight of civilians on ground zero.
 

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