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Wikileaks: Afghan Kids Killed by Canadian Military

Details on Plight of Afghani Civilains

by Geordie Gwalgen Dent

Wikileaks: Afghan Kids Killed by Canadian Military

Vancouver - Details of how the Canadian military is killing Afghani civilians have been revealed by the Wikileaks release of tens of thousands of diplomatic cables.

Great attention has been paid to a suggested friendly fire incident where a US cable reported that 4 Canadian soldiers were killed by a US bomb as opposed to fighting with Afghani’s.

The Canadian government has denied the claim.  "At all times, the Canadian Forces have been open and forthright with the families of our fallen soldiers and the Canadian public about the circumstances relating to deaths in Afghanistan," stated defence minister spokesman Jay Paxton in an e-mail to the CBC.

However less attention has been paid to a Wikileaks cable detailing the killing of two teenagers, aged 14 and 16 years old by a Canadian patrol in October, 2009 to the west of Qandahar (Kandahar).

The cable outlines that two Afghani teenaged boys were traveling towards a line of soldiers on a motorcycle at high speed.  The soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of The Royal 22e Régiment were reported to be doing an independent offensive patrol in support of Operation KATAKAWAL. 

The 2nd Battalion of The Royal 22e Régiment was also used by the Canadian government against Mohawks during the 1990 Oka crisis.  According to the Canadian Air Force Journal’s Spring 2010 edition, Operation KATAKAWAL “was the first Canadian planned and flown helicopter air assault mission in Afghanistan.” 

The updated event summary of the civilian killings explains, “The motorcycle approached the cordon (line of soldiers) extremely fast and did not respond to verbal and visual warnings.  As such, one aimed warning shot was fired. The motorcycle continued towards the cordon and when they were within 50m lethal shots were fired at the centre of mass.”

It is not explained which visual signals were used to show two Afghani teenagers on a motorbike, more than 50 meters away, traveling at high speeds that they had to stop or slow down.  Nor is it explained why the line of soldiers thought the two teenaged boys were a threat.

According to the cable, “This resulted in rider #1 shot in the ankle and he suffered a head trauma when he fell from the motorcycle. It is assessed that he died of wounds from the head trauma and not the shot. Rider #2 was shot in the thorax and died of wounds. There was a MEDEVAC Message (S) 10-01N which was cancelled when the med condition of both persons deteriorated from Cat A (as was orig reported) to vital signs absent. It is assessed that the soldiers followed the proper escalation of forces procedures; however, this will be verified pending the Military Police NIS (Afghani/national intelligence service) investigation.”

According to Malalia Joya, a member of the Afghan National Assembly, of the 10,000 known civilians killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 occupation, 2,000 have been killed by the Taliban while 8,000 have been killed by NATO forces.

The cable in question can be read here:

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507 words


Interesting observation

Great story! Glad some of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan is getting out through the Afghan War Logs released by Wikileaks.

I think it is important to note that no mention of Canada is made in this report, (or cable), from the War Logs. To know this you would have to know that "2R22R" stands for "The 2nd Battalion of The Royal 22e Régiment" 

The fact that it was Canadian soldiers who shot these boys is presumably known only because journalists, likely at the Guardian, cross referenced the story with other accounts of the incident that had been reported earlier.  

This means that there may be numerous reports in the War Logs that refer to Canada but never mention Canada in anyway. About 400 do mention Canada, but we now know that is not a complete list. 


2R22R = "The 2nd Battalion of The Royal 22e Régiment" (Canadian)   

GT R2RR   =  Canadian troops: tactical group: 2nd bn 22nd royal regiment 

Does anyone know other terminology that stands for Canada?

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