Afghanistan forces told to limit night-time raids: Report

In a significant development, a new classified directive to Afghan coalition forces puts restraints on night-time raids of homes and compounds.

Washington: In a significant development,
a new classified directive to coalition forces in Afghanistan
puts restrictions on nighttime raids of homes and compounds, a
media report said today.

The move is seen as an attempt to bring down the
civilian casualties if any during such operations.
CNN has reported that the directive in this regard
has been signed by General Steanley McChrystal, the top US and
NATO commander in Afghanistan.

"The document orders forces to use Afghan troops at
night `whenever possible` to knock on doors of residences and
compounds, and to use them if forcible action is required for
entry," an official said, according to the CNN.

According to the news channel, nighttime raids in
which troops enter private homes have sparked problems for US
and NATO forces as these raids are viewed as overly invasive
-- a violation of the privacy of the home in Afghan culture --
and they can turn violent.

The McChrystal directive also orders troops to
"conduct an analysis" of whether it is militarily essential to
conduct a raid at night or whether it can be put off until
daylight, the official said.

If troops can keep a target under surveillance but
wait for daylight, they then can enlist the aid of village
elders, perhaps, in determining if a home or compound poses a
threat, the official said, according to CNN.