06 Oct 2007

PR# 2007-670

Three dead in escalation-of-force shootings in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – Three Afghan civilians were killed this morning in two separate incidents in eastern Afghanistan.

The first incident, in Kunar Province, resulted when members of a combined Afghan National Army and ISAF base received reports from local villagers, supported by credible intelligence reports, that there was a pending attack against the base.  The combined ANA and ISAF element identified insurgents in the high ground around their base and engaged them to disrupt their attack. 

ISAF elements established a checkpoint to intercept the insurgent reinforcements after receiving additional reports that an insurgent force was reinforcing the attack on the base by a truck. Shortly after establishing the checkpoint, a truck was identified approaching at a high rate of speed.  In accordance with ISAF escalation-of-force procedures, the truck was signalled to stop multiple times.  However the truck did not stop and was engaged by the ISAF checkpoint resulting in the death of two Afghan civilians.

The second incident, in Paktia Province, resulted when an ISAF convoy was approached by an unidentified Afghan male.  As the man neared the convoy he behaved suspiciously, at which time ISAF personnel, with the assistance of a local interpreter, ordered the man to stop.

Ignoring warning signs and shouts to stop, the Afghan man began to evade capture.  A warning shot was fired, but the man continued to ignore ISAF warnings.  After verbal warnings and warning shots were ignored, ISAF personnel fatally shot the man.

 “We deeply regret the loss of life in both of these incidents,” said Maj. Charles Anthony, ISAF spokesperson.

“ISAF troops are trained to use clear and measured rules of engagement procedures and only fire as a last resort,” Anthony said.  “Afghan citizens are urged to heed warning signs in order to prevent these unnecessary incidents.”

These incidents are currently under investigation by Afghan National Police and ISAF forces.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/