Young boys killed in Afghanistan while collecting firewood

Nine young boys, who were 9 to 15 years old, were attacked and killed on Tuesday in what amounted to one of the war’s worst cases of mistaken killings by foreign-led forces. The victims included two sets of brothers. A 10th boy survived.

A NATO statement, which included an unusual personal apology by the commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, said the boys had been misidentified as the attackers of a NATO base earlier in the day. News of the attack enraged Afghans and led to an anti-American demonstration on Wednesday in the village of Nanglam, where the boys were from.

From the NY Times:

“We were almost done collecting the wood when suddenly we saw the helicopters come,” said Hemad, who, like many Afghans, has only one name. “There were two of them. The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up, and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting. They fired a rocket which landed on a tree. The tree branches fell over me and shrapnel hit my right hand and my side.”

The tree, Hemad said, saved his life by covering him so that he could not be seen by the helicopters, which, he said, “shot the boys one after another.”

General Petraeus pledged to investigate the attack and to take disciplinary action if appropriate.

“We are deeply sorry for this tragedy and apologize to the members of the Afghan government, the people of Afghanistan and, most importantly, the surviving family members of those killed by our actions,” he said. “These deaths should have never happened.”

Firewood is a precious commodity in Afghanistan


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Posted by on March 3, 2011. Filed under Commentary,War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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4 Responses to Young boys killed in Afghanistan while collecting firewood

  1. bsranch

    March 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    This is one of the many reasons war sucks and really should be the very last resort.
    Inocent people get hurt it is inevitable.

  2. Jess

    March 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Pledged to take disciplinary action if, IF appropriate WTF is that about? Of course it’s appropriate you moron, little boys getting some damn firewood to keep warm were murdered by us. We need to get the hell out of there and right now, so that if appropriate, we’ll discipline is never uttered again, relating to little boys being shot down collecting firewood.

  3. Pingback: Yound boys | AfricanAuthentic

  4. Four Dinners

    March 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I will immediately send a box of matches and save many young lives.

    oh…er…wood…erm….alright…I’ll send some wood and a box of matches….

    Do I get a reward?

    Shut up Dinners.

    Soz.

    I DO care…a bit….sort of.