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Firewood not Fire On

March 2, 2011

It appears as if NATO cannot tell the difference between insurgents and children. A story from The New York Times (NYT) reports how NATO gunners killed nine young Afghan boys who were “collecting firewood to heat their homes.”

According to the only boy who survived the attack:

“We were almost done collecting the wood when suddenly we saw the helicopters come. There were two of them. The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting. They fired a rocket which landed on a tree. The tree branches fell over me and shrapnel hit my right hand and my side.”

The NYT notes this accident is the third one in ten days that has involved NATO, which may be a result of NATO’s shoot first and maybe ask later if there are any survivors policy.

Sadly for the boys’ parents, they “tried to find the body pieces and put them together.” One boy’s body was missing his head, while there were some bodies “missing limbs.” It’s okay though because NATO is “deeply sorry.” Isn’t that the usual course? Tragedy, apologize, repeat.

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