INDEPENDENT NEWS

Afghan raid inquiry needed to dispel confusion - lawyer

Published: Wed 14 Mar 2018 04:25 PM
A lawyer representing Afghan people caught up in a defence force raid in 2010 says persisting confusion about the detail shows an independent inquiry is needed.
Hit and Run Photo: Supplied
The 2017 book Hit and Run alleged six civilians were killed and 15 injured in a raid on two villages in Afghanistan but the New Zealand Defence Force denied the extent of the raids and disagreed on several details.
In a newly public report, the defence force admitted for the first time that photographs in the book do show the raid's location.
However, it said the authors had labelled the areas in the photographs incorrectly.
One of the lawyers helping the Afghans civilians seek a government inquiry here, Deborah Manning, said the defence force was causing more confusion.
The people she represents know the name of their village and what happened there - and that was what counted, she said.
"The public are becoming more and not less confused about what the New Zealand Defence Force is trying to say," she said.
"Serious allegations have been raised and these need to be looked at by an independent body who is able to look at these thorougly and in a clear and impartial manner."
The defence force said the raid took place in Tirgiran Village but Hit and Run says it took place in Naik and Khak Khuday Dad.
Ms Manning says there is no village called Tirgiran - it is the name of a region in the same way Waikato is a region, rather than a town.
"My clients have always been very clear about when the operation happened, where it happened and what happened, which was in their villages called Khak Khuday Dad and Naik ... so I'm confounded as to how the NZDF say our clients don't know the name of their own villages."
The defence force said regardless of the disagreement about details, the operation did not go the way the book alleges.
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