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Senior officer ‘ignored issues’ about Particular Forces ‘kill unit’ in Afghanistan, inquiry advised | UK Information

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Considerations had been ignored by a senior officer within the Particular Forces that there was a “deliberate coverage” in Helmand, Afghanistan, to kill all fighting-aged males, regardless of whether or not they posed a risk or not, an inquiry has heard.

One officer wrote out what he had been advised and locked it in a secure for his successor to cope with as a result of he was involved his commander was ignoring the problem.

The Impartial Inquiry into Afghanistan opened on Monday into killings by a unit known as “sub-unit one” on a minimum of seven events, between November 2010 and October 2012.

Considerations had been raised at a social operate in late March 2011, when the commanding officer of a Particular Forces unit known as UKAF3, known as N1785, spoke to the Assistant Chief of Employees Operations to the Commander of UK Particular Forces, known as N1466.

N1785 raised his issues about whether or not it was attainable {that a} “deliberate coverage was being demonstrated the place all fighting-age males in a given state of affairs had been killed regardless of whether or not they posed a risk or not”.

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He had been given data from one other officer known as N1799 who supplied a written assertion on 24 March.

In it, the officer defined: “Throughout conversations with a soldier from SU1 [sub-unit 1], he acknowledged that it was customary process to deploy recurrently to hit low and medium worth targets within the Helmand space.

“Throughout these operations, it was stated that ‘all fighting-age males are killed heading in the right direction’ whatever the risk they posed, this included these not holding weapons.

“It was additionally indicated that fighting-age males had been being executed heading in the right direction inside compounds, utilizing quite a lot of strategies after they’d been restrained.

“In a single case it was talked about a pillow was put over the pinnacle of a person being killed with a pistol.”

‘Any means attainable’

The officer added: “It was implied that images could be taken of the deceased alongside weapons that the fighting-age males might not have had of their place after they had been killed.

“The dialog implied that the intention of normal operations was to pacify areas in Helmand by destroying all of the medium and low-level Taliban command chain and facilitators, utilizing any means attainable.”

On 5 April 2011, N1785 determined to jot down to N1802, the commander of UK Particular Forces headquarters in London, to tell him of the knowledge and apologising for not elevating it throughout his “leaving name”.

“I’ve for a while been conscious of rumours throughout the UKAF3 that UKAF1 SU’s [sub-units] have been conducting abstract executions of supposed Taliban associates heading in the right direction in AFG [Afghanistan].

“Till very just lately I’ve not reported this any additional and cautioned my group in opposition to peddling malicious hypothesis. Nonetheless, I’ve now been given extra data of a nature which makes me critically involved for the status of UKAF [UK Special Forces].

“One among my group, an officer, has been advised by a person from UKAF1 that there’s in impact an unofficial coverage amongst the UKAF1 SU’s to kill wherever attainable preventing aged males heading in the right direction, whatever the rapid risk they pose to our troops.

“In some situations this has concerned the deliberate killing of people after they’ve been restrained by SU1 and the next fabrication of proof to recommend lawful killing in self-defence.

“What I’ve been advised doesn’t quantity to something as substantial as proof. However to my sense it’s extra than simply what had been, till just lately, vacuous hearsay.

“But when UKAF people are conducting EJK’s then the implications are stark. However this, I really feel most strongly that thorough investigation is warranted.”

Lord Justice Haddon-Cave is main the inquiry

Learn extra:
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Taliban bans women visiting popular park
Public inquiry to be held partly in secret

N1785 later advised the Royal Navy Police how N1802, the headquarters commander, was “sad concerning the nature of the knowledge” he had been given and that, because of this, he positioned the letter from N1799 into the secure in his workplace and briefed his successor.

N1466, the Assistant Chief of Employees Operations to the Commander of UK Particular Forces, later advised navy police investigators that among the accounts supplied by members of sub-unit 1 had been “implausible” and “in hindsight I ought to have made it clear to N1802 that the problem needs to be taken to the Service Police”.

He advised the navy police investigation, Operation Northmoor, that: “The Taliban appeared to have ceased, usually, preventing in opposition to helicopter assaults from the compounds.

“Their reasoning gave the impression to be that almost all suspects had been launched from custody after 96 hours of detention, underneath these circumstances, give up was a greater end result than preventing in opposition to overwhelming odds.”

He added that there was a “shortage of weapons in lots of the scenes and place of the weapons, by this I imply the place a weapon is laid down parallel to the physique”.

The officer stated: “Given the layers of implausibilities above, the mixture coincident of such occasions on a number of targets appeared particularly shocking and logic defying.”

The inquiry continues.

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