Karzai orders US special forces out of Afghan province
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Sunday 24 February 2013
The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, has ordered American special forces to leave a province of Afghanistan within two weeks, amid allegations that locals working on behalf of the foreign troops have committed acts of torture.
“In today’s national security council meeting, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak [province]” the President’s spokesman, Aimal Faizi, said today.
Accusing US special forces in the area of abetting “insecurity and instability”, Mr Faizi said the move had been prompted by allegations of misconduct linked to Afghans working for the foreign troops.
According to a statement posted on the President’s website, the national security meeting found that “it became clear that armed individuals named as US special forces stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people.”
It went on to highlight examples. One involved an incident in which it claimed that nine people had “disappeared”. In another, separate incident, “a student was taken away at night from his home, his tortured body with throat cut was found two days later,” it said.
Mr Faizi said the Americans “reject having conducted any such operation and any involvement of their special force”.
A statement by a spokesman for US special forces said it took all allegations of misconduct seriously, but could not comment “until we have had a chance to speak with senior government officials”.
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