American soldiers torched 11 corpses, say residents
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Eleven of the sixteen bodies killed by US soldiers last Sunday morning, in Panjwae district of southern Kandahar province, were later burned using cloth and blankets by the perpetrators, say eye witnesses.
Local resident in Najibyan, Habibullah said foreign troops rained on two houses in the village and a third house in Alokozi village, killing women and children.
“Foreigners killed 11 people, including a young man, children and women in Najibyan village,” he said, adding after the shooting soldiers placed cloth, blankets and other material to set fire on the corpses.
Hundreds of devastated local residents paraded the victims’ bodies in front Afghan military base and foreign forces in the district, urging officials to prevent such attacks on civilians and not to seek foreign troops’ assistance anymore.
Another bereaved resident Nazar Mohammad said: “Foreign soldiers entered my brother Lal Muhammad’s house, killing him, his wife and children while they were sleeping.”
Another resident of Aloko village Syed Jan explained that he had gone to Kandahar City and left his children at home when the soldiers attack his house.
“Foreigners entered our house late at night, killing my wife, a brother, nephew and my cousin who was guest in our house. They also shot and injured two other family members,” he said.
His female family members were trying to take refuge in their neighbour’s house but soldiers also shot them dead on the spot, he added.
Villagers also showed blood and ash-littered room, where the 11 bodies were burned, to journalists and visiting delegation.
A delegation comprising Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid, member of provincial council, Hajji Agha Lalai Dastagiri, Afghan security personnel and other officials visited the district.
Earlier, an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) statement said a mentally unstable US soldier opened fire on civilians outside their military base.
“This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved,” said the statement.
But, villagers had given a different account, saying they heard explosions, gunshots and sound of helicopters hovering over the area on that tragic night.
Another resident Mohammad Sadique said that they had no permission to go out of their house at night, so they were unaware of the number of attackers.
“We heard explosions at night than the sound of choppers flying over the area,” he added.
Visiting Khalid said the delegation came to the area on the directive of President Hamid Karzai and offered condolences to affected families, and promised the perpetrators would be brought to justice soon.
“We have contacted the foreigners and they said one of their mentally unstable soldiers carried out the attack,” he said.
The five injured people were taken by ISAF members to Kandahar airfield and their condition was said to be stable, he added.
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