Times 2

Afghan night raid survivors, in their own words

KABUL (Reuters) - The growing use of "night raids" by NATO-led and Afghan forces to kill or capture insurgents is one of the most controversial strategies in the Afghan war. Here are accounts by two Afghan civilians of night raids they experienced, which left them injured or bereaved.

HAMIDULLAH, Jalalabad city, aged 13. Hamidullah says he was bitten by a dog during a night raid on his house, and lifts up the leg of his trousers to show big scars that appear to be bite marks. ISAF declined immediate comment on photos of the scars. "I was asleep, I woke up from a dream, and when I went to the door the dog bit me. It was one or two o'clock in the morning, about two years ago. I was 11 at the time, now I'm 13 years old."

"I got no medical help for the wound, except the U.S. soldiers bandaged it up with gauze before they left. I got no compensation either, but it doesn't hurt now, it is not painful." "Our windows are still damaged because on the day they came they blasted the door out with a bomb. There were 4 or 5 other small children in the house at the time, and some women in a side room, but there were no others hurt, just me."

AHMAD NOOR, Sherzad district, Laghman province, aged 26. Reuters first interviewed slightly built Ahmad Noor in early February, the day after his house was hit by what he says was a coalition bomb.
He was sitting on the edge of a hospital bed accompanied by two women in burqas, one with her arm bandaged and the other with her foot treated and bound.

"It was around 9 p.m. There were two or three helicopters, one jet plane and some American vehicles on the road and then two or three rockets came on my home." "We were sleeping, although in the village some of the people were awake still. The window of my room was shattered, a rocket came through the window. I was very frightened and there was dust all around the yard," he said, looking dazed and exhausted.

"We had 11 people in the house at the time. There was no clinic near our home, although my wife had foot injuries, but we had to wait till this morning to come to the hospital." "I found out then one of our neighbours was martyred (killed). He was an innocent man."

The interview was stopped at this point by the hospital director, on the orders of the provincial governor.
"Nobody is injured, no one killed, there are no problems, there was no bombardment," he said. Local journalists say attempts to pressure the media over air raids are rising.

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