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Karzai gives US forces 2 weeks to quit Wardak

Karzai gives US forces 2 weeks to quit Wardak

Feb 24, 2013 - 20:33

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The National Security Council (NSC) has given American Special Forces two weeks to leave central Maidan Wardak province, President Hamid Karzai’s chief spokesman said on Sunday.

Addressing a news conference in Kabul, Aimal Faizi said that a number of Afghans had also been seen within the framework of the US Special Forces, which had been accused by local residents and officials of harassing the people.

An investigation of the public complaints by the Ministry of Defence had also acknowledged the involvement of the forces and the Afghan citizens working with them in pestering the locals, according to the presidential aide.

“We have received a plethora of complaints, with elders from Maidan Wardak giving President Hamid Karzai evidence the forces storming people’s houses, torturing and killing the inmates,” said Faizi, who quoted local officails and residents as saying that nine people had been missing after being detained by the US forces.

Faizi also quoted the provincial governor as saying that a university student was recently arrested by the Americans from his home in Maidan Wardak. Later on, his decapitated body, bearing tell-tale signs of torture, was found dumped on a river bank in the area.

In response to growing public grievances, the NSC ordered the Ministry of Defence to share the issue with the US Special Forces and seek their cooperation as well as clarification in this regard.  “When contacted for a clarification, the US forces admitted the Afghans worked with them,” he said.

But the Special Forces later said the Afghans working with them had fled, according to Faizi, who said it was for this reason that the NSC instructed the defence ministry to expel the American forces from the province within two weeks.

Afghan security personnel in the province were directed to arrest those involved in torturing residents and raiding their houses, the spokesman said, adding US Special Forces were also active in Kunar, Kandahar, Khost and some other provinces. They were operating out of the Afghan government’s control, he concluded.

Asked for comments, a deputy spokesman for ISAFinfo-icon said they took allegations of misconduct seriously and did all they could to determine the facts surrounding them.  

“Over the past few weeks there have been various allegations of Coalition forces conducting themselves
in an unprofessional manner in Maidan Wardak,” Jamie Graybeal said.

But a thorough review of the allegations, in cooperation with Afghan authorities, had confirmed that Coalition forces had not been involved in the alleged misconduct.


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