Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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CIA-backed Afghan unit accused of atrocities is able to call in air strikes

AAN < 1 min

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 8 February 2019

Moe on the modus operandi of CIA-backed NDS 02 unit based on Jalalabad airport, and another alleged case of killing of civilians in Nangrahar’s Rodat district in September 2018:

A civil society activist in the province told the Bureau: “The 02 unit conducts operations with impunity and no regard for civilian lives, they destroy civilian homes that those people put so much effort into building, burn cars and use explosives and air strikes at will.” (…)

Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the Bureau: “Devolving such authority to Afghan special forces compounds the existing problem about whether those ordering the air strikes are adequately distinguishing between combatants and civilians, between legitimate military objectives and protected civilian property.”

In an interview with the Bureau, Hayatullah Hayat who is the governor of Nangarhar [but has recently shuffled to Kandahar], acknowledged that civilian casualties from raids by US-backed Afghan intelligence special forces were a problem, which he said his office was seeking to address by raising awareness among the civilian population of what to do during a raid.

It seems Afghan authorities are either unable or unwilling to bring this up with the US or Afghan intelligence.