Canadian troops mistakenly kill another Afghan civilian
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | 7:35 AM ET
Canadian soldiers killed an Afghan civilian Tuesday morning, the fifth accidental shooting of an Afghan by Canadian gunfire this month.
The shooting occurred as a white Toyota approached Canadian troops who had stopped on a Kandahar road to form a security cordon around a broken-down armoured vehicle.
This white Toyota was fired upon after it approached Canadian troops who were formed into a security cordon. The driver was killed and a passenger wounded.Maj. Dale MacEachern, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces, said the group of Canadians signalled for the approaching vehicle to stop, but troops opened fire when the civilian driver proceeded.
MacEachern said the vehicle drove past one checkpoint manned by Afghan National Police, then accelerated toward Canadian vehicles.
The Afghan driver was killed and a passenger was wounded.
Mistaken civilian shootings over the past year, including several within past few weeks, have increased tensions between Canadian troops and the Afghans, from whom Canadians are trying to win trust in the region.
The Canadian Forces last week sent a message to troops to use more restraint before opening fire to avoid accidentally killing civilians.
On Feb. 18, Canadian soldiers accidentally killed an Afghan civilian and a member of the Afghan national police following an attack on a Canadian convoy.
Troops killed an Afghan police officer and also shot and killed a civilian who approached Canadian Forces soldiers while they were engaged in a gunbattle with insurgents. The Canadian Forces said the Afghan did not heed repeated warnings to move away.
A week earlier, Canadian troops shot and killed a civilian and wounded an Afghan police officer in separate incidents in the same day.
The military is conducting investigations into all of those cases.
More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers are serving in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar region. Since the mission started in 2002, 44 Canadian soldiers and one Canadian diplomat have been killed.