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article imageAfghan army accused of illegal killings

By Ken Hanly     Sep 3, 2014 in World
Kabul - The White House has asked that the Afghan government investigate as many as 15 cases of possible illegal killings carried out by Afghan security forces. There have been seven incidents so far this year.
The incidents have happened in almost every Afghan region. The seven incidents this year are winnowed from 30 reported cases. The 201st Corps near Kabul, which only recently received human rights training, is involved in some incidents. Two of the cases of extra-judicial killing were said to be witnessed by US soldiers.
The Leahy Amendment of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act and a similar provision in the Defense Department Appropriations Act, blocks US aid to governments or forces that commit human rights abuses. At times, aid continues even though the law appears to be violated: Though the law is pretty clear on the matter, the administration has often spurned the ban and continued to send aid anyhow, claiming it gives them more influence to try to get the violators in line. With the Afghan military built in America, that excuse isn’t going to fly.
While no officials would give an estimate of how many might have been killed extra-judicially an analyses of the incidents shows that it would be at least 15. An anonymous senior US official said: “It doesn’t matter if it’s one incident or 20. You can’t provide funding or U.S. assistance to that unit unless they take corrective action, and that’s where the process is right now.”
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesperson Gen. Dawlat Waziri said that “To my knowledge, there has been nothing like that committed by our troops." However, another Afghan official said that the Afghan armed forces were busy attempting to ensure security during the season when the Taliban is mounting many attacks. The US itself has also been accused of illegal killings in Afghanistan and of not properly investigating incidents. Special forces and units often also are accused of illegal killing. Task Force 373 is just one example: In an article datelined 25 July 2010, the online news daily reported that "In many cases, the unit has set out to seize a target for internment, but in others it has simply killed them without attempting to capture. The logs reveal that TF 373 has also killed civilian men, women and children and even Afghan police officers who have strayed into its path.
The NATO security agreement with Afghanistan expires at the end of 2014. The upcoming NATO summit in Wales will decide how much money will be invested in Afghanistan as well as how many if any troops will remain.
More about Afghanistan, Patrick Leahy, US troops in Afghanistan
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