Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Austraila detained Afghans in 'dog pens'

Australian special forces troops detained suspected Taliban militants [or indigenous Afganistanis] in "dog pens" in actions which have prompted a protest from the Afghan ambassador.

Australian Muslim groups have also expressed outrage that four suspected insurgents [or indigenous Afganistanis] were held for 24 hours after being arrested by special forces soldiers in Afghanistan on April 29.

An army inquiry last week rejected claims that the raid on suspected Taliban [or indigenous Afganistanis] members, which resulted in allegations of mistreatment, was carried out in response to the fatal shooting two days earlier of Sydney commando Lance Corporal Jason Marks.

Defence [Military] officials have confirmed that Afghan prisoners were held in the dog pens in Afghanistan.

"Yes, however this holding area provided the best secure, safe and isolated short-term accommodation until the following day," a Defence [Military] spokesman said.

However, Islamic decrees warn Muslims against contact with dogs which are regarded as unclean.

Afghan ambassador Amanullah Jayhoon has strongly criticised the use of dog pens for human detention and warned the incident could provide valuable propaganda for the Taliban.

Australia's peak Muslim body the Islamic High Council has expressed alarm at the practice.

"This is of concern to us whether they are Muslim or other people being confined to other accommodation designed for dogs," said Council spokesman Mohamed Mehio.

"This is a matter of human rights."

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon denied any wrongdoing by the diggers [militia].

"The detainees were held for 24 hours at this transit facility, which was the time required to arrange appropriate transport to move them to a purpose-built detention facility at Tarin Kowt," he said.

Children killed in NATO artillery attack

The NATO-led force in Afghanistan says it has accidentally killed three children in the eastern province of Paktika.

A statement says soldiers in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were attacked and retaliated with artillery fire.

The first shell landed too close to a civilian compound and troops called a halt to the attack, but a second shell had already been fired.

NATO soldiers found the bodies of three children in the compound. Seven people were wounded.

In a statement, NATO expressed deep regret and said the incident was being investigated.

On Friday Afghan and German troops killed two children and a woman when the cars they were in failed to stop at a checkpoint.

The incidents are the latest in a string of civilian casualties caused by foreign soldiers.


Vietnam Veterans for Peace Demonstrate Against Fellow Vet John McCain

On Sunday, Veterans for Peace, a large national organization made up of veterans of every war, from Korea to Vietnam and Iraq, led a protest in the streets of St. Paul against the Republican National Convention. Among the members of Vets for Peace, there is a sizable contingent of Vietnam War vets. So, too, is the man they are demonstrating against: the presumptive presidential nominee John McCain. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill files a report from the streets of the Twin Cities.

John McCain More Of The Same

Investigation last week found mass NATO Killings of 90 Afghanistan Civilians including 60 Children.

"Investigations by UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men," U.N. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide said in a statement.

No comments: