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More info on the taxi-shooting in Kandahar

The linked Toronto Sun article is dated Friday, but I didn't see it until Barfly sent it to me this morning (thanks!). There are a lot of troubling details that, if true, are going to make the Canadian job of "winning hearts and minds" all the more difficult. These include:

  • a rickshaw with a maximum speed of 20 km/hr - not exactly "storming the gates"
  • a medic that didn't look at the wounded man for 15 minutes while he bled on the ground
  • a chest wound that didn't "look life-threatening"
  • a patrol that appears to have been parked about 15m from a blind corner
  • shots fired into a vehicle that contained seven civilians

Yes, it was dark, and yes the guys are jumpy; but mistakes like this just can't become commonplace.

There are those that might say the wife's request for $30,000 to buy a home and a shop for her oldest son is extortion, but really, is there any real alternative. For her or us?

The US pays families off in circumstances like this.

We've been pretty good about civilian compensation. Just ask most any West German farmer who was in the path of a NATO exercise.I read a similar article in the Globe and Mail and it really does look like this something that didn't need to happen. It looks to me as if there is blame to varying degrees on all sides. Most of which has to go to the soldier who had to make a snap judgement.20 km/hr may not seem fast but if someone doing that speed comes around the blind corner at you, I think that given the circumstances, most people would make a similar choice to fire.Having said that,I'm still confident that the CF's level of training keep this sort of thing from being a regular occurence though admittedly I'm biased on this.

I'm with Doug here, I'll point out that there is an independant investigator looking into the charges and that the soldier has been relieved of duty pending the results. Just a point of correction, Kev - the link is to the Toronto Star, not the Sun, and while I'll agree it raises some disturbing points, it also goes a bit out of it's way with histrionics on the widow's part.

Thanks for the correction, Dan - mistyping. At least I copied and pasted the link right!

I agree with the slant of the coverage, but seeing a grieving human at the other end of this is more useful than the straight military account.

Well, I'll agree with you that it's useful - I just don't think they made much effort to verify her account, and the bit in the last paragraph about the soldier 'pinging' a plastic bottle out the back wasn't really necessary and served no purpose than to make the military look bad. I'll agree that shootings like this have a danger of inflaming the local populace, but so do one-sided stories like this one.

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