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German soldiers admit to shooting Afghans

Hannah Cleaver · 20 May 2011, 16:27

Published: 20 May 2011 16:27 GMT+02:00

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An investigation being carried out at the Provincial Advisory Team (PAT) base has so far established that German soldiers on Wednesday were shooting at protesters’ legs and in three or four cases, at their torsos.

“In one case, according to current information, a hit in the head-neck area cannot be ruled out,” a statement from the Bundeswehr released on Friday said.

The soldiers had followed the standard engagement procedures by first shouting and gesturing at the protesters, before firing in the air and then firing shots aimed at the legs of those who were still being threatening, it said.

“In three, possibly four cases (final clarification is not available) shots were fired on violent attackers (hand grenades, Molotov cocktails) in the torso area, arms and hands. In one case, according to current information, a hit in the head-neck area cannot be ruled out.”

At least 12 people were killed during Wednesday’s violent demonstration which was prompted by the deaths of four locals during a night-time raid by ISAF forces.

The PAT base, where 40 German soldiers are stationed, was surrounded by a group of up to 1,500 people, some of whom threw grenades and Molotov cocktails at the base. The police tried to calm the situation, and, the Bundeswehr statement said, also shot at some protesters.

Three German soldiers were hurt, one quite seriously while five Afghan security guards at the base were also injured.

Afghan security personnel eventually brought the situation in the town under control. Doctors said at least 12 people were killed and more than 80 injured in the violence.

Further demonstrations took place on Thursday, in front of the Taloqan police station and the headquarters of the provincial governor.

The Bundeswehr said on Thursday that it had established that German soldiers had shot at the legs of some protesters, hitting between seven and ten people. “There is no evidence that attackers were killed by shots from German soldiers,” said a statement.

Further statements were issued on Friday, the first of which said the internal investigation had been slowed by the precarious security situation in the town.

Afghan sources told the army that the riot had been planned a long time in advance and that the ISAF operation on Tuesday had only served as an excuse. “There were absolutely no accusations against German soldiers from the side of the Afghan government representatives,” the statement said.

But the incident is being taken very seriously, with General Mohammed Daud, police chief for the northern Afghan region, in Taloqan to speak with local politicians, religious leaders and elders to try to calm the situation.

Story continues below…

Major General Markus Kneip, commander of ISAF Regional Command North, has taken over security measures for the German base, while ISAF has declared itself prepared to support the investigation of General Daud.

Kneip has put a team of investigators on the case, which started work by Friday morning.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Kharzai has also sent an commission to the town to report back to him on what happened during the week.

The Federal State Prosecutor has been informed of the situation. A spokesman told The Local this was completely normal procedure and that no investigation had been launched.

Hannah Cleaver (hannah.cleaver@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:33 May 20, 2011 by MarshaLynn
RADICAL Islam is a blight on the world. They do not know the meaning of the word peace. They are incapable of living in peace with themselves or others. Theirs is a violent lifestyle and way of thinking. They cut off people's heads for minor infractions, for heaven's sake. A father will kill his own daughter if she speaks to a male. The western world had better do something about this scourge now, before it is too late. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Time to deal with a clear and present danger.
17:59 May 20, 2011 by Landmine
Reason a lot of these events happen is because the protesters know they won't be shot at because we are too weak to flex some muscle. Maybe now they will figure out otherwise -especially when disturbing a German from his beer ;-)
18:05 May 20, 2011 by Lachner
@MarshaLynn - I agree with most of your comments in that Radical Islam is dangerous to World Peace. Nonetheless, we must not discriminate all Muslims since not all of them are terrorists. You make it seem by your words that we must exterminate them all and that is not the way to go, since that would be genocide. Nonetheless, I agree that the western world needs to eliminate all terrorist organizations and cells as well as ban religious figures and mosques that preach hate and violence. Additionally, the western world needs to toughen up and demand respect in their own countries where Muslims demand Mosques to be opened and their culture to be respected. If you are a foreigner in a new country you must learn the language, adopt the local culture, respect the laws, accept the new way of life and integrate into your new society. If you wish to have "your way" predominate in a foreign land...then perhaps it is better to go back home.

With regards to the shooting, I believe that the German troops had every right to open fire against the Afghans. One thing is to make a peaceful protest and another thing is to throw grenades. Once deadly force is used in a protest, it is no longer a peaceful manifestation and therefore the use of force is acceptable. In my opinion, they should've used more force as matter of fact. Perhaps some RPG's and 30mm machine guns. These Afghans don't dare attack the U.S. Military camps because they would get a lead and rpg shower which would send them to a nice long dirt nap.
18:27 May 20, 2011 by MarshaLynn
Lachner, I specifically used the word RADICAL Islam. Since we do not live in a perfect world, there are going to be casualities among innocent people. That is unfortunate, and I would hate for myself or my loved ones to be among those innocent people. But it is a reality in this flawed world. We face a very dangerous enemy who is insinuating himself into the nations, and is also engaging in violence just about everywhere. They desire the entire world for themselves, but the western world has its head in the sand. The thinking of progressivism contains the seeds of its own destruction because it is always trying to be perfectly fair and not harm anyone. It backs off at the slightest sign of collateral damage. It is easily manipulated by the rhetoric of the enemy. Here in America, Islam could easily use our courts to sue us out of a nation, because so many liberals on the courts would actually take their rhetoric about "fairness" seriously. And those Muslims have to be laughing at our idiocy. I want all semblance of liberal political correctness chased out of the USA, because it is going to destroy us.
18:28 May 20, 2011 by lal mani sharma
It is difficult to understand as to why there is turmoil in the Islamic world.Take any Muslim country and one will find it at war with itself or with the others. The Afghans are peace loving people but the are being incited by the notorious ISI to rebel against the foreign troops stationed in that country..In fact everything is fair in love and war and no combatant can win a war with his hands tied behind. Had not the German troops not fired the effect could have been catastrophic The entire unit might have been eliminated by the mob.
18:32 May 20, 2011 by michael4096
Like everybody else, I have no idea of the real rights and wrongs here. However, its comforting to see that something happened, people died and so maybe we should review the situation to find out if something can be learned for next time.

Far better than the usual sort of headline: "Fab Forty Repel Raid by 1500 Islamists; Twelve Jihadis Killed in Rout."
18:36 May 20, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
I agree with the German soldiers' decisions to open fire. It's not like they were in a position to negotiate with the crowd throwing molotov cocktails. The radicals made up their minds to be violent, so what did they expect when they attacked armed combat soldiers? Good for them for not sitting back and doing nothing. I hope the wounded Germans recover.
18:50 May 20, 2011 by michael4096
"The thinking of progressivism contains the seeds of its own destruction..."

Actually, 'progressivism' took man out of caves. America was founded by a bunch of progressives in opposition to the conservative Europeans; but, that was before it got stuck in a two hundred year old time-warp :-)
20:37 May 20, 2011 by Gajanand
I some how dont' like to take on the Sovereignty of any country. Who knows it might get reverse in future!!!
22:47 May 20, 2011 by melbournite
yeah! yeeha! kill em all and let god sort 'em out... dont they know how lucky they are to have us invading and occupying their country?
00:31 May 21, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Meanwhile, the English and American people continue acting like the judges and correctors of this world...
02:00 May 21, 2011 by Ludwig von America
I don't want to dominate the world, but my government does. They are willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of innocent people to follow their self-righteous and misguided aims. This venture was doomed from the start and nothing good will come from it. The hand-writing has been on the wall for a long time, but egos are in control. Now too, we have the "Young Guns" Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy playing war and murdering innocent people in Libya, including assassinating the grandchildren and innocent son of Gaddafi. Just what I need as an American...more blood on my hands and more hatred towards me. God help us.
06:37 May 21, 2011 by the_canadian
It kind of saddens me how people are reacting negatively to these protests and bringing Islamic Extremism for no reason. We are there to build a democratic country, a country where people can freely protest anything they choose. Sure its horrible that these protests got violent but so did the G8 protests we had in Canada. People need to understand that Afghanistan is a young democracy it will take time, quiet possibly not in our lifetime, but eventually they will become a fully functioning democracy. People just need to be a bit more positive minded and not suddenly launching accusations against groups of people.
06:46 May 21, 2011 by Bushdiver
@ Ludwig von America....If you're so worried about more blood on your hands and hatred towards you maybe you should consider moving back to the Fatherland. Also @ the_canadian...I doubt seriously that anyone could change a Muslim country into a Democratic country period.
07:06 May 21, 2011 by the_canadian
Give it time, after all everyone country made a transition into a democracy. No offense to anyone but it took Germany two wars before it became a fully functioning democracy. All I am saying is just give it time, with the way these Mid East protests are going we may see more Muslim democracies one day, hopefully.
07:19 May 21, 2011 by Ludwig von America
@Bushdiver--- moving to the Fatherland might be a good idea. At least your leaders had the guts to say no to the Libya no-fly zone. @the_canadian---what you say sounds very idealistic and I'm sure you mean well. But, there is no way these people will ever embrace our way of life. Some seem to think the process will go like this; 1) have elections, 2) declare Afghanistan as a democracy, 3) open up McDonalds, 4) build another Disneyland in Kabul, 5) everyone lives happliy ever after.

There is no way any of this will happen and it's not up to us to try. Leave these people be. Leave them alone.
08:00 May 21, 2011 by auniquecorn
Yea like ludwig said. leave these people be, leave them alone.

He just forgot to mention the part:

To marry their 9 year old daughters of to 55 year old men, so they can be beatin and raped the rest of their lifes.

Don´t let the young girls get an education, otherwise they might go aginst being beatin, raped and stoned to death for wanting to be independent.

That country needs educated and it will take alot more lives to do it, but 1 day it will happen.
09:30 May 21, 2011 by ChrisRea
They way things are handled in Afganistan is a real mess. The demonstration (or beginning of a revolution) was triggered by ISAF killing of four people that were probably civilians (two of them were Afgan women; In male-dominated Afghanistan, the very few female fighters are mostly foreigners). The Afgan police also stated that the four people were civilians. Last week three civilian Afgan teenagers were killed and four others wounded by ISAF. Even an Afgan policeman was mistakenly killed by NATO.

I begin to wonder if it is the talibans or the forced fighting the talibans that cause more civilian deaths. And I can understand the civilians revolting against foreign soldiers killing their innocent relatives and not being punished.

While fighting the talibans is good, the way it is done is suboptimal (to use a much too soft word).
11:29 May 21, 2011 by moreanon
In Afghanistan Nato shoots protestors but in Libya Nato bombs Ghadaffi for shooting protestors - Western hypocrisy writ large.
14:59 May 21, 2011 by Ich
This "war" is ridiculous. Every time a Western soldier clicks off his safety, there's an investigation to count bullets, like this is a forensic scenerio. If he's captured, however, he can not expect the Geneva Convention. Rather, he'll get QU'ranic law, which is the law of all Muslims. It "trumps the Constitution", and Army Major Nidal Hasan says. There are no "moderate" Muslims: the Qu'ran only recognizes believers and non-believers, and prescribes for both. While for many, the path of "jihad" isn't violent, they will benfit from the threat imposed by others in achieving world domination, as the prohpet demands. That's the worst part-the only part of that you can take seriously is the violence. The rest of it is hilariously funny-good Looney Tunes material. Treat yourself-read the Koran.
16:17 May 21, 2011 by FIUMAN
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:24 May 21, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Yes please Americans and Englishmen, teach the rest of the world to live in a civilized way please!
21:16 May 21, 2011 by wenddiver
@Ovalles3.14- The civilizing seems to be working, you are already reading the Queen's English and getting exposed to ideas that don't come from the ignorant little Quran. Another thousand years your offspring might be able to adopt to a civilized society. Good luck, keep reading.
22:39 May 21, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Sure, chief.
23:03 May 21, 2011 by Stuart1977
Carry on s**t stirring against Muslims, who knows you might get another Holocaust, then you'll get all the natural resouces without a fight.

If these countries were advanced they'd only end up competing with us, and they'd get slaughtered for that anyway.
02:16 May 22, 2011 by Gajanand
Its very much common fact that, the junk organization called NATO created by love hatred peoples in usa and EU are attacking every week country where ever possible even for silly reasons.

Germany done good thing by not participating in Libya. It would be good if they recall troop from Afghan as well.

Just attacking doesn't solve the purpose its used for. Every one will have a time, its time for usa and EU. In future who knows EAST might attack usa and eu for resource shortage for their wish list of large population.

That will be hard time and i am sure, that will happen (In that Afghan might be one of the attackers, who knows).

@ovalle3.14: teaching can't be a war. Peace lovers cant go by wars. your words shows attitude towards peace.

I am the first one to be happy for a world without any conflict, war, and terrorism etc...
11:29 May 22, 2011 by Krazi Diva

You're not american. Go back to where you came from.
20:31 May 22, 2011 by wenddiver

Why was the European press so upset to see all those college age Americans celebrating Osama Bin Ladin's death?

Because it exposed the leftist lies in the European Press that they don't support defending the West from Islamic Terrorists. It's simply not true! We would have admired any Country that got him, but were thrilled our own Boys did.

I don't believe you are an American either, your probably an Islamic terrorist dis-information officer.
08:32 May 23, 2011 by Twiceshy
Fake patriots always support occupation and killing in the name of profit, fake patriots are and always will be fascists. Mostly of them are rats who work for political police and care to spread hate against immigrants and Muslims, they get money or some other privileges (better job) from political police. German military has behavior like criminals, they occupy other country and in micro level it would mean the same as if some criminal occupy house of some ordinary family. oldiers of every country should stay in their country when they cross the border they become criminals who kill in the name of profit. In the past profit was for budget of western countries now it is profit for corporations which finance politicians (their private life and their political parties).
09:59 May 27, 2011 by Gilly58
I say ole chap..could you please kindly refrain from throwing that molotov, and also mention to you're buddy's that the hand grenades that they hold could potentially become a real hazzard when the pins are removed, and thrown in our direction. If you continue, we will have no other option than to phone Herr Westerwelle & co for a response, so we would be very greatful to you if you could just wait a while until we have confirmed what our Politicians would like us to do...In the meantime, would you care for a cup of coffee?
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