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The Nangahar Massacre

 

Background

Media Reports

Government Reports

Photo Credits

 

Background - Nangahar Province, March 4th, 2007

 

“A U.S. Marine unit broke international humanitarian law by using excessive force during a shooting spree last month that left 12 people dead, an Afghan human rights group said in a report Saturday. The troops fired indiscriminately at pedestrians, people in cars, public buses and taxis in six different locations along a 10-mile stretch of road in Nangahar province after an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into their convoy on March 4, […] Six people were killed near the blast site, while the other six died on the road as the troops sped away, said Ahmad Nader Nadery, the group's spokesman. The dead included a 1-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and three women, the report said. Thirty-five people were wounded in the shootings. […]”

Excerpt of an Associated Press article from April 15th, 2007.

Afghan men carry a dead victim

 

Media Reports

 

May 23rd, 2008 - Marines ‘Acted Appropriately’ in Deadly Afghanistan Ambush

3 news articles by Agence France Presse, Associated Press & Los Angeles Times

 

October 23rd, 2007 - Tribunal to Investigate Officers’ Roles in Deaths

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

May 23rd, 2007 - Marines who Killed Civilians were Attacked

1 news article by The Examiner

 

May 20th, 2007 - Civilian Casualties Hurt Mission in Afghanistan

1 news article by Allentown Morning Call

 

May 18th, 2007 - Commandant: Marines Must Focus on Values

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

May 12th, 2007 - Afghans Growing Irate Over Casualties

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

May 9th, 2007 - 69 Afghans’ Families Get a U.S. Apology

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

April 27th, 2007 - Criminal Charges Are Expected Against Marines, Official Says

2 news articles by the New York Times & Associated Press

 

April 20th, 2007 - Killings of Afghan Civilians Recall Haditha

1 news article by the New York Times

 

April 15th, 2007 - Marines Killed Civilians, U.S. Says

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

April 15th, 2007 - Marines’ Actions in Afghanistan Called Excessive

1 news article by the New York Times

 

April 15th, 2007 - Marine Shooting in Afghanistan Decried

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

April 14th, 2007 - Excessive Force By Marines Alleged

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

March 24th, 2007 - U.S. Military Opens Inquiry Into Whether Marines Killed 10 Afghans

1 news article by the New York Times

 

March 5th, 2007 - 16 Civilians Die as U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Road

1 news article by the New York Times

 

 

Government Reports

 

May 12th, 2007 - Coalition delivers ‘solatia’ payments to Nangarhar families

Report by Combined Joint Task Force - 82

 

April 14th, 2007 - Use of Indiscriminate and Excessive Force against Civilians by US Forces

Report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

 

“[…] On 4 March 2007 a convoy of US Marine Corps Special Forces vehicles traveling on the road from Torkham to Jalalabad in Nangahar province was attacked with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED). The driver of the VBIED vehicle was killed instantly and at least one Marine suffered shrapnel injuries.

 

“US forces claim that the suicide attack was part of a complex ambush and that the convoy came under small arms fire immediately after the explosion of the VBIED. There is some evidence at the immediate site of the incident supporting this claim, but it is far from conclusive and all witnesses and Afghan government officials interviewed uniformly denied that any attack beyond the initial VBIED took place.

 

“Following the attack US forces repeatedly used force, shooting at vehicles and pedestrians at the immediate sight of the VBIED attack as well as in several different locations along the next 16 kilometers of the road. In total, at least 12 people were killed and another 35 injured by the shooting, including several women and children (see Annex 1 for a list of confirmed victims).

 

“The AIHRC investigation of the incident found that the large majority, if not all of the victims were civilians. While the AIHRC condemns the suicide attack, the level of force utilized by US forces in consequence was almost certainly excessive and disproportionate to any threat faced or military advantage anticipated. In failing to distinguish between civilians and legitimate military targets the US Marine Corps Special Forces employed indiscriminate force. Their actions thus constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law standards.

 

“In the aftermaths of the attack several journalists were hindered from accessing the site and some were expressly threatened and forced to delete all pictures and videos they had taken. This obstructed the ability of the media to seek, receive and impart information about the incident and so constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression. […]”

 

The Aftermath of the Killings

A bullet-riddled car

Afghan man, who lost his wife

Follow-up protest

Photo Credits

 

Background

 

1) Afghan men carry the body of a civilian who, they said, allegedly was killed by American soldiers after a car bomber attacked an American convoy in Barikaw in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. - March 4th, 2007 - Rahmat Gul/Associated Press;

 

The Aftermath of the Killings

 

1) Villagers peered into the car of a man named Lewanai, which was hit by at least 250 bullets when American marines reacted to a suicide attack. - March 2007 - Aaron Huey/Atlaspress for The New York Times;

2) Gharghashta, left, and his son Tira Gul, whose wife was killed by marines. - March 2007 - Aaron Huey/Atlaspress for The New York Times;

3) Afghan students protest two days after U.S. Marines shot civilians in the aftermath of a suicide attack. - March 6th, 2007 - Rahmat Gul/Associated Press;

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