Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

International Engagement

Deaths Not in the News (amended)

Thomas Ruttig 2 min

Some TV stations have a programme called ‘No comment’. They just show pictures, without any explanation. Here, we just use words to report an incident from Logar, without any comment. It is from the Afghan War’s small print.

Case 1

On Tuesday 14 June, around 1:30 pm, a mine went off in De Ahmadzaio Kala’s main road, a village in Muhammad Agha district of Logar province, when a US military vehicle passed. A firefight ensued between insurgents and Americans. As a result, a 15-year old girl was killed by a bullet. The girl was fleeing when the shooting started and run towards the school’s gate. There it was hit by the bullet through the hip.

The girl was able to take shelter in the school. After the firefight which continued for some 2-3 hours, she was transferred to a privat hospital in Kabul. But upon arrival, she succumbed to its wounds; she already had loist too much blood.

Local inhabitants are the source of the report. They are sure that the girl was hit by an American bullet. The attackers, they say, were further away, and the bullet came out of an armoured vehicle driving around a corner into the school road, immediately opening fire.

We know the girl’s name and that of her father. He is a teacher (at another school). The fateha for the girl will be held on Friday.

Today, two days after the incident, we cannot find any trace of this incident in the media, not in the Afghan press, nothing from ISAF that there was an incident at that place at that time. A Taleban website mentioned the incident claiming 3 US soldiers were killed and two other wounded. But the Taleban also do not mention the girl.

We are not able to confirm the version of the villagers. But we know that invitations for the fateha had gone out. It is not an invented story. The death of a 15-year old girl from Logar could have easily gone completely unnoticed.

 

Case 2

The same village, some days earlier. Taleban enter a house, searching for an alleged member of the Afghan security forces living there. Only his wife is at home. She tells the intruders that her husband is absent.

Later, when the Taleban have left, she manages to warn her husband to spend the night outside, with neighbours.

In the same night, the Taleban return. They find only the woman, again. She repeats thatb her husband has not come home yet. They knock her unconscious with some spray, the kids as well. They take the mother away.

Some time later, villagers find her slain body in the desert.

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