Afghan Official: US Soldier Threw Grenade Into Crowd of Civilians

Posted By Jason Ditz On June 9, 2009

The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province reported today that a US soldier had thrown the hand grenade that struck a crowd of civilians in a bustling market, killing two and injuring 56 others.

The crowd had gathered around a stalled American military vehicle when the grenade hit. The council chief said dozens of civilians had seen the soldier throw the grenade (external - login to view), calling it “a complete cruel crime against civilians (external - login to view).”

Perhaps sensing yet another public relations disaster, the US quickly disputed the report, claiming investigators had found fragments of the grenade and determined that it was Russian-made (external - login to view), apparently a remnant of the failed Soviet occupation of the nation.

No explanation was given for the number of witnesses who claimed a US soldier threw the grenade, and the report insists Soviet grenades are commonly used by militants. The Kunar Province has been no stranger to violence during NATO operations, and an air strike in April killed six civilians and wounded 16 others.
I'd have a question about this: how fearful of the locals are the US troops?

A vehicle stalls, and people gather out of curiosity. The Americans, perceiving the Afghan people as a threat, panic and throw a grenade in pre-emptive self-defence.

But then that leads to another question. If the Afghan people are such a threat, why are we there to help them?

Questions beget questions.
By the way, I'd seen a Youtube video in the same vain involving Canadian troops. A man was approaching, and they warned him through an interpretor to stop, yet he continued to advance. They panicked and shot him dead. On approach, they found he was unarmed, but couldn't explain why he had chosen to continue his approach after having been warned.

That's the problem, the oximoron of going to try to save a people we distrust. If we distrust them, it's only natural that they'll distrust us.
no new posts