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HRW urges probe into Afghanistan summary executions

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Wednesday urged [HRW report] the Afghan government and US military to investigate alleged summary executions committed by special forces against Kandahar civilians.

The alleged executions reportedly took place during military operations spanning from January 31 to February 1. In one instance, during a coordinated attacked by the Special Forces Unit of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) [official website], the NDS reportedly killed at least 20 civilians and detained at least 38 men.

In February a report [text, PDF] by the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) [official website] revealed that search operations conducted the NDS caused the death of 61 civilians and injured 25 civilians. According to the report, the NDS went even further by entering civilians' homes and opening fire upon them; in one such instance, three men were killed and seven others, including a boy, were injured. According to UNAMA, "these forces appear to operate outside of the regular NDS chain of command, resulting in a lack of clear oversight and accountability given the absence of clearly defined jurisdiction for the investigation of any allegations against them."

If the investigation substantiates the claims, HRW called for the special forces to be held responsible.

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