Canada probing possible US misconduct in Afghanistan

An elite US military unit unlawfully killed an unarmed Afghan, a report said.

Updated: Dec 02, 2010, 14:20 PM IST

Montreal: The Canadian military is investigating allegations that an elite US military unit unlawfully killed an unarmed man in Afghanistan, officials said.

"These allegations are being investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service," Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay`s spokesman Jay Paxton said, declining to comment further until charges are officially announced.

Public television CBC reported that a former Canadian soldier has said he witnessed US Special Operations Forces kill a man who was wounded and unarmed in January 2008.

The investigations have been taking place behind closed doors, prompting calls from lawmakers for public oversight.

An earlier probe called Sand Trap examined claims that a Canadian member of Canada`s covert Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) unit was involved in the 2006 lethal shooting of an Afghan who had his hands up in the air as he was surrendering. The investigation ended without charges.

As part of the new probe -- Sand Trap Two -- the Canadian military is also examining how commanders responded to the allegations that members of JTF2 witnessed the killing by their US peers.

Operations by Canada`s special forces are largely kept secret by Ottawa, which has however revealed that they are involved in operations targeting al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

The two investigations cover a period from 2005 to 2008, when JTF2 forces were working alongside US Special Forces based out of Kandahar, where 2,800 Canadian soldiers are engaged against the Taliban.

Bureau Report