Monday, July 28, 2008

NATO Military Forces Feel Threatened By Un-Armed Afghan Children and Open Fire

2 Afghan kids dead after Canadian troops fire at vehicle
Kandahar incident came after vehicle driver refused commands to stay away
Canwest News ServicePublished: Monday, July 28, 2008

Canadian troops in Afghanistan opened fire on a civilian vehicle Monday, killing two children and injuring an adult, NATO said.

The children - a male and a female, which some media reports suggest were siblings - were killed after the car's driver failed to respond to numerous warnings to stay clear of a NATO convoy patrolling the area in the country's Kandahar province. One adult male was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

In a statement, NATO said the vehicle failed to comply to hand, arm and audio warnings to keep sufficient distance from the convoy. When the vehicle was about 10 metres away from the patrol, and still heading towards the convoy, the soldiers opened fire, fearing an attack.

"Our soldiers are trained to take the appropriate steps to minimize civilian casualties," said the NATO statement. "However, they must take action to protect themselves when threatened. Tragic incidents such as this are avoidable if the public comply with the instructions of those who are endeavouring to provide a safe environment."

Canada currently has about 2,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan in the NATO-led mission.

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