Canadian military probe launched after Afghan civilian claims injury
By THE CANADIAN PRESS
February 16, 2008
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The military has launched an investigation into allegations an Afghan civilian was injured Saturday after a shot was fired by Canadian soldiers.
The incident happened after a car came too close to a convoy leaving the Kandahar Provinicial Reconstruction Team base early in the morning.
The military said soldiers vocally warned the car to stop and fired a warning shot.
The vehicle came to a halt and a military spokesman said soldiers assessed the scene.
“Nobody was injured at that time,” said Capt. Sylvain Chalifour.
Later Saturday, Afghan police informed the Canadian authorities that a bystander at the scene was claiming he had been injured.
Chalifour said the military was investigating the allegations.
Coalition troops run regular advertising campaigns aimed at keeping Afghans away from military vehicles.
Military convoys also carry big red warning signs with images and writing warning people to stay back.
It’s the second time in the last week that a convoy from the PRT base has been involved in a shooting incident.
Last week, Canadian soldiers fired at the vehicle itself and a passenger in the car was injured.
An investigation was launched into that incident, as well as one in January.
Bystanders alleged at that time they were inured after Canadian soldiers fired on a car that refused to stop for a convoy.
Chalifour said the military is doing all it can to prevent these kinds of incidents.
“We definitely take proactive action to ensure that these type of incidents don’t happen,” he said.
“But you have to understand that we are constantly on the roads.”
Kandahar city is a major throughway for military convoys leaving the main base and travelling through the province.