13 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-386

ISAF escalation of force incident in Helmand province killed one civilian

KABUL, Afghanistan - ISAF forces opened fire on an Afghan man who approached their patrol in the vicinity of an ISAF base the morning of August 12.

The incident occurred in Helmand Province. ISAF was conducting a 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 male driver was given immediate medical treatment at the scene by the patrol and than taken to a nearby base for further treatment. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, the man later died from his wounds.

ISAF 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/