. Military Space News .

NATO accused of lack of honesty over reporter's death
by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) April 25, 2012

NATO forces in Afghanistan were less than honest over the killing of a prominent Afghan journalist by an American soldier, an investigation by a Kabul-based think tank charged Wednesday.

For several weeks NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) refused to even admit that US troops had been at the scene of the reporter's death, said a report by the Afghanistan Analysts' Network (AAN).

Journalist Omaid Khpulwak, who worked for the BBC and Afghan media, was killed on July 28 last year in a counter-attack when the offices of national broadcaster RTA in southern Uruzgan province were targeted by Taliban insurgents.

ISAF said the counter-attack was led by Afghan security forces, while the Afghan government blamed Khpulwak's death on the Taliban, the report by the AAN's Kate Clark says.

But in September, the US military published a summary of its investigation into the journalist's death, revealing that one of the US soldiers who cleared the building had shot the bearded Khpulwak after mistaking him for an insurgent.

Clark noted that although Afghan commandos did fight the Taliban at a separate attack on the governor's compound, "their role at RTA was dismal, virtually negligible".

"Yet the ISAF press release on the twin attacks gave a glutinously adulatory account of the Afghan forces and failed to mention any international military involvement.

"ISAF spokesmen have continued to try to spin the story -- claiming even recently that the counter-attack had been 'Afghan-led', when in fact no Afghans were involved at all," AAN said.

The report says Khpulwak's family received death threats in anonymous phone calls in which they were told to stop voicing their suspicions that a US soldier had killed him.

"They risked a great deal to give interviews and pass on ballistics and other evidence," said Clark.

"ISAF's failure to talk frankly with the media and Afghan population caused needless distress to Omaid's family and friends and helped spark suspicions of a cover up," she said.

Clark's report -- "Death of an Uruzgan journalist: Command Errors and Collateral Damage" -- acknowledges the efforts made by ISAF commander General John Allen to reduce civilian casualties caused by soldiers under his command, but says this must be allied to honesty when operations go wrong.

"We stand by our reporting on this unfortunate incident," a spokesman for ISAF, Lt-Col Jimmie Cummings, told AFP in response to the AAN investigation.

"Following this incident in July, ISAF was in communication with the family as well as BBC and they were also the first to be briefed on the findings of the report by ISAF on 8 September 2011.

"After a thorough investigation it was determined that Mr Khpulwak was killed in a case of mistaken identity.

"The reporter was shot by a US member who believed he was an insurgent that posed a threat and was about to detonate a suicide vest improvised explosive device.

"After thoroughly looking at all the evidence it was determined that US forces acted appropriately and within the ROE (rules of engagement) under the circumstances," Cummings said.

Related Links
News From Across The Stans

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Afghanistan, US finalise draft post-2014 deal: Kabul
Kabul (AFP) April 22, 2012
Afghan and US officials have finalised the initial draft of a strategic partnership agreement that will govern relations between Kabul and Washington after 2014, a presidential statement said Sunday. "The draft agreement on Afghanistan and US long-term partnership was finalised and initialed on Sunday in Kabul by the heads of the two negotiating delegations in Kabul", a presidential statemen ... read more

Russia's new air defense systems: Pantsir to shield S-400

An ABM "Umbrella" with tripple lining

Congress mulls $680M for Israeli Iron Dome

Raytheon Awarded $106 Million for Aegis Radar Work

N. Korea 'missiles' at parade were mock-ups: experts

US Navy Fires Raytheon Griffin Missile From RAM Launcher

S. Korea deploys longer-range missiles against North

US seeks 'restraint' amid India missile plan

Northrop Grumman to Upgrade Fire Scout Unmanned Helicopter for US Navy

Pakistan reiterates drone opposition as US envoy visits

US Army Places $20.4 Million Order for AeroVironment RQ-20A Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Russia to Test Fly First Combat Drone in 2014

Fourth Boeing-built WGS Satellite Accepted by USAF

Raytheon to Continue Supporting Coalition Forces' Information-Sharing Computer Network

Northrop Grumman Wins Contract for USAF Command and Control Modernization Program

TacSat-4 Enables Polar Region SatCom Experiment

Kratos Receives $1.3 Million Production Award for Electronics Supporting the US Navy P-8A Aircraft Program

Initial testing for Wisconsin county's new land mobile radio system completed ahead of schedule

Boeing Delivers P-8A Training Devices to Naval Air Station Jacksonville

Lockheed Martin Receives $79 Million Contract For Development Of New GMLRS Variant

Brazil to get tech transfer if it buys US jets: Panetta

US looks to ease Brazil doubts over tech transfers

India to boost domestic arms production

'Deep Throat' in Indian arms scandal breaks cover

US confident of France's commitment to NATO

Vietnam hosts US, China navies

Son of disgraced Chinese leader Bo breaks silence

Fallen Chinese leader spied on others: report

First Atomic-Scale Real-Time Movies of Platinum Nanocrystal Growth in Liquids

Nanodot-based memory sets new world speed record

Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy

High-res atomic imaging of specimens in liquid by TEM using graphene liquid cell

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement