Friday, March 23, 2007

Marines ordered to leave Afghanistan...

Making the situation in Afghanistan even more precarious comes the news that an entire unit of Marines has been ordered to leave the country after accusations some of them were involved in shooting and killing civilians after a suicide bombing. Not all of the details are known and it does not appear a complete investigation has taken place but what we know so far according to AP news:
In the March 4 incident in Nangahar province, an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into a convoy of Marines that U.S. officials said also came under fire from gunmen. As many as 10 Afghans were killed and 34 wounded as the convoy made an escape. Injured Afghans said the Americans fired on civilian cars and pedestrians as they sped away.

U.S. military officials said militant gunmen shot at Marines and may have caused some of the civilian casualties.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the incident, which was one among several involving U.S. forces in which civilians were killed and injured.

Leto, the spokesman at Special Operations Command Central headquarters, said the Marines, after being ambushed, responded in a way that created "perceptions (that) have really damaged the relationship between the local population and this unit."

Therefore, he said, "the general felt it was best to move them out of that area."

More on this story as it comes out....

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