28 July 2008

PR# 2008-350

ISAF escalation of force incident, two civilians dead and one other wounded

KABUL, Afghanistan - ISAF soldiers opened fire on a vehicle being driven in a threatening manner and ignoring warnings, killing two child occupants and wounding one adult on July 27 at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The incident occurred in Kandahar Province. ISAF was conducting a security patrol when they were approached by a vehicle. The vehicle was directed to keep its distance but it did not comply. ISAF soldiers gave hand, arm and audio signals as well as flashing light signals to stop. When the vehicle was 10 metres away and still approaching rapidly, the ISAF soldiers, fearing an attack, fired on it.

The injured civilians were treated by ISAF medical personnel at the scene. An adult male, who had suffered serious wounds, was taken by ANP to Mirwais Hospital for further checks.

Our soldiers are trained to take the appropriate steps to minimize civilian casualties. 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.

ISAF runs frequent public service announcements and advertising campaigns aimed at keeping the local population informed about the need to maintain a safe distance from ISAF convoys as they travel throughout the region.

ISAF deeply regrets the outcome of this incident which will be fully investigated.

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/