Afghan Anger at Nightime Raids

PUL-I-ALAM, Afghanistan — The American soldiers stormed into the Afghan family’s compound in the middle of the night, kicking in doors and shouting. They ordered everyone into the yard, bound their hands, covered their heads and interrogated them for hours before taking away three men who had done nothing wrong.

At least that’s the way the Afghans tell it.

NATO has a different account of the raid: A force led by Afghans was searching for a Taliban leader and got a tip from residents that three insurgents were living in the compound. The force struck at night when the suspects were likely to be home and took all three away for further questioning. The troops were as respectful as they could be, given that they had to make sure no one started shooting at them.

This happens in Afghanistan nearly every night. Sometimes the men turn out to be bombmakers or fighters, sometimes ordinary civilians. But in every case there are angry family members who feel violated or mistreated.

The U.S. will likely rely more and more on night raids as it shifts to a strategy of using special operators and drones to track down and kill Taliban leaders following President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday that 30,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by next summer.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly condemned night operations as unnecessary and humiliating.

Source

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