The seven key night raids at the centre of the Afghanistan inquiry

UK special forces allegedly had a policy of executing males of “fighting age” in Afghanistan in circumstances where they posed no threat, an independent inquiry has heard.

The central allegation of the probe, which will focus on alleged illegal activity in the war-torn nation between 2010 and 2013, is that special forces “abused” night raids, or deliberate detention operations (DDOs), to carry out the policy.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the seven DDOs at the centre of the Afghan inquiry in detail.

November 30 2010 – ‘Innocent civilian’ killed in special forces raid

During the course of a UK special forces operation, Afghan citizen Mohammed Ibrahim was killed – despite not being its target, the inquiry heard.

Special forces said he was killed when he appeared from behind a curtain with a grenade. But Mr Ibrahim’s family insist he was an innocent civilian who worked as an Afghan government official between 2001 and 2007, firstly as a deputy police chief and then as the Gereshk district governor alongside British Forces in Helmand.

They say there were no weapons at the compound, and UK special forces had cleared the compound before singling out Mr Ibrahim to go back inside.

February 7 2011 – Nine men ‘unlawfully killed in their beds’

A UK special forces unit carried out a raid in Makati Dashta in northern Helmand.

Family members claimed the men were shot “most likely while asleep”, but the unit said soldiers were acting in self-defence.

Habibullah Alizai, who was the head of the family that lived in the compound, said he was awoken by the “noise of shouting and gunshots” before being taken from his room to be “interrogated and beaten” by soldiers.

February 9 2011 – Eight ‘innocent civilians’ killed in guesthouse

A unit conducted a night-time DDO in Khanano, a small village in the Musa Qala district of northern Helmand.

Three armed men were shot and killed by special forces before the bodies of four more men were found – having apparently been shot “by one of their own number”.

Special forces said a man was sent back into building to pull down the curtains and open the doors, and was shot and killed when he reappeared with a weapon.

The family insist that all of the deceased were innocent civilians and that fatal injuries sustained by the men, and the positions in which they were found, suggest they were shot by trained soldiers who were facing them.

February 16 2011 – Four ‘innocent civilians’ killed including respected elder

According to special forces, during a night time operation in Gawahargin, a small village in the Nawa District of southern Helmand, Abdul Khaliq left a compound having been called out by the unit.

He was taken back inside in order to assist with a search of the property when he reached behind a curtain and pulled out a hand grenade which he attempted to throw. He was immediately shot and killed.

Attah Ullah had also left a second compound in response to the call out. He too was directed to assist with the search of that second compound and went back inside with the British forces.

He picked up an AK-47 assault rifle from behind a table and was immediately shot dead before he could fire it, the unit said.

Saddam Hussein was observed running from the compound complex and pursued on foot. He was found hiding underneath a bush and ordered to come out. He did, but was holding a hand grenade, and was immediately shot dead.

Ahmed Shah was found hiding under a blanket outside a third compound and was ordered to come out. When he did so he was holding an AK-47 assault rifle and was killed.

The family insist that all four deceased were innocent civilians, that they had nothing to do with the Taliban, and that there were no weapons in the compound.

Having found out about the incident and met with British Forces, an Afghan partner unit said they no longer wanted to provide any support to operations with the British.

March 12 2011 – Eight men killed – some with their ‘hands still bound’

During a night time DDO in Khanano, a small village in the Sangin District of northern Helmand, a compound was cleared.

When one of the males was escorted back inside to assist with the clearance, he ran off. He was then found armed with a weapon and killed.

Seven others were killed when they posed a threat to special forces using guns or grenades, the unit claimed.

The family insist that all those killed were innocent civilians. It is claimed that two of the deceased were found shot with their hands still bound with restraints, that several of them were found in the room where they would have been going to sleep, and that each of them appeared to have been killed when they were either lying or sitting down.

October 18 2012 – 12-year-old boy and three teenagers killed

The four were killed during a night-time DDO in the village of Loi Bagh, near Nad e Ali in central Helmand.

Special forces said the killings were lawful, and found weapons during a subsequent search of the property.

The family insists all the deceased were innocent civilians, had nothing to do with the Taliban, and that there were no weapons in the compound.

Complaints were raised by the family and large numbers of local residents planned to demonstrate, the inquiry was told.

August 7 2012 – Family shot while ‘asleep in their beds’

During the course of a night-time operation in the village of Shesh Aba, in Nimruz province, in southern Afghanistan, two individuals were killed, and two children were wounded.

Hussain Uzbakzai, his wife, Ruqquia Haleem, and their two children Imran and Bilal, are alleged to have been shot whilst asleep in their beds.

A neighbour’s compound had also been raided and two males – said to be of fighting age – were shot and killed.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –