Today: September 18, 2004 at 2:53:10 PDT
U.S. Apologizes for Young Afghan's Death
By STEPHEN GRAHAM
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The U.S. military apologized Saturday for the death of a young Afghan civilian near to where American-led troops were battling militants in a Taliban stronghold of southern Afghanistan.
One male juvenile was killed and another wounded Friday in Uruzgan province, spokesman Maj. Scott Nelson said. "The coalition deeply regrets and apologizes for" the casualties, he said.
Nelson said the incident occurred "in conjunction with an engagement" between militants and U.S.-led troops, and that two were hurt when they "failed to halt after repeated warnings."
He said the military was investigating and that no further details were immediately available, including whether the victims were shot.
The U.S. military says its operations across the troubled south and east of Afghanistan have kept militants, including remnants of the ousted Taliban, on the defensive in the run-up to landmark Oct. 9 elections.
Scores of militants have been killed, many of them in Uruzgan and neighboring Zabul province.
But its record has been tarnished by a string of civilian casualties.
Last month, the military apologized for the deaths of three unarmed Afghans shot dead after their pickup truck failed to stop at a checkpoint in Ghazni province. It is still investigating whether civilians died when U.S. warplanes bombarded suspected militants on Aug. 30 in eastern Kunar province.
Local leaders have repeatedly complained of heavy-handed tactics by the U.S.-dominated coalition, especially during searches that sometimes involve air power and take place in the dead of night.
Rights groups say the muscular approach may have caused unnecessary deaths and stoked sympathy for anti-government rebels.
On Aug. 9, Lt. Gen. David Barno, the top U.S. commander, agreed to a 15-point plan to soften those tactics and improve relations with Afghan civilians and officials after Karzai called him in for talks.
Yea ,we're sorry for every non combatant killed or wounded. But where would the Hadji's be under Talaban rule?
[South Park]'Now, now, the Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions.'[/South Park]
Well, hell...at least we're sporting about it...
I fail to see the point to this. Some times innocents die in war, always have always will, I'm sure that we are regretful when this happens but I don't see how this is particualarly news worthy, after all shit happens.
If they think that Americans accidently killing civilians is unacceptable then they sould have had the 'balls' to kick the Taliban out on their own.