17 Feb. 2009
PR# 2009-156

Escalation of Force incident kills two Afghans

KABUL, Afghanistan - Two Afghans died following an escalation of force incident with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers around 10 a.m. today in Maywand district, Kandahar Province.

One vehicle approached a dismounted patrol of ISAF soldiers at high speed. Despite repeated warnings to stop and warning shots, the vehicle continued towards the patrol.  Fearing an attack, ISAF soldiers engaged the vehicle with small-arms fire which finally caused the vehicle to stop. Both occupants of the vehicle were treated at the scene but unfortunately died of their wounds after being medically evacuated by helicopter.

“Civilian deaths are always regrettable. It is important to note that all of our soldiers are trained to take any and all appropriate steps to minimize civilian casualties. However, they are authorized to take action to protect themselves when they believe they are being threatened,” said Brigadier-General Denis Thompson, Commander of Task Force Kandahar.

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.  This distance must be maintained due to the threat posed to coalition and Afghan soldiers, as well as to the local Afghan population, by vehicle-borne suicide bombers.

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/