The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

U.S. Accepts Responsibility for Khost Civilian Casualties

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | April 09, 2009 | Katharine Tate
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In fairness, this was a rapidly issued apology (near-apology?) by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. Here’s the statement in full, which I received 20 minutes ago:

Coalition Forces offer condolences following non-combatant deaths in Khost

KABUL, Afghanistan – Further inquiries into the Coalition and ANSF operation in Khost earlier today suggest that the people killed and wounded were not enemy combatants as previously reported.

During the operation to capture militants linked to insurgent activities in the area, a local family near the targeted enemy’s location fired upon the combined forces. The combined forces returned fire, killing two males, two females and wounding two females. There are reports of an infant also killed.

Coalition and Afghan forces do not believe that this family was involved with militant activities and that they were defending their home against an unknown threat.

The joint investigation will continue.

Coalition forces are working closely with local Afghan officials and family members to express condolences and provide assistance in the aftermath of this tragic event.

“We deeply regret the tragic loss of life in this precious family. Words alone cannot begin to express our regret and sympathy and we will ensure the surviving family members are properly cared for,” said Brig. Gen. Michael A. Ryan, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

I’m still unclear as to whether the policy is to apologize first or investigate first; it seems to be the latter. Still, this release, accepting responsibility for the civilian deaths, came barely four hours after USFOR-A’s announcement than an investigation had begun.

Katharine Tate | I’m a native of Massachusetts, where I earned bachelor's degrees in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Sculpture from Brandeis University. I enjoy assisting and inspiring women in all aspects of their lives, and I consider myself a partner in their OB an GYN treatment. I particularly enjoy forming relationships with young women and assisting them in determining their healthcare needs and goals. I love to travel, create metal and fiber art, cook, and spend time outside. Also, I’m fluent in both German and American Sign Language.

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