NATO apologises for mistakenly killing journalist in Afghanistan
Kabul, Sept 9: NATO has admitted that an American soldier has mistakenly killed an Afghan journalist working for the BBC, assuming him to be a suicide bomber, during a complex attack in southern Afghanistan in July.
After making an apology to his family, NATO officials issued a two-page summary of the episode, which said the soldier believed the reporter, Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, had fired on American troops and was about to detonate a suicide vest when he "shot the individual with his M-4, killing him," The New York Times reports.
The report found that the soldier "complied with the laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement and acted reasonably under the circumstances."
However, General John R. Allen, the top commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, has ordered an investigation into the matter.
The paper quoted Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC Global News, as saying in a statement that Khpulwak's death "further highlights the great dangers facing journalists who put their lives on the line to provide vital news from around the world."
The shooting took place on July 28 in the city of Tirin Kot, the capital of Oruzgan Province, after the insurgents surprisingly attacked the provincial Governor's compound, where Khpulwak was filing a story. The attack had left 21 people dead.
Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com