American Military Attempts To Cover Up Civilian Massacre In Afghanistan
A U.S. soldier deleted the AP journalists’ footage that showed a civilian four-wheel drive vehicle in which three Afghans were shot to death about 100 yards from the suicide bombing. The order which required the reporters to erase their film was immediately defended by US military authorities: "Investigative integrity is one circumstance when civil and military authorities will reluctantly exercise the right to control what a journalist is permitted to document," Col. Victor Petrenko, chief of staff to the top U.S. commander in eastern Afghanistan. He added that photographs or video taken by "untrained people" might "capture visual details that are not as they originally were."
The AP disputed the assertions.
"That is not a reasonable justification for erasing images from our cameras," said AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll in New York. "AP's journalists in Afghanistan are trained, accredited professionals working at an appropriate distance from the bombing scene. In democratic societies, legitimate journalists are allowed to work without having their equipment seized and their images deleted."
Afghan witnesses and gunshot victims said U.S. forces fired on civilians in cars and on foot along at least a seven-kilometre stretch of road from Barikaw following the suicide attack against the Marine convoy.
U.S. officials acknowldeg that their gunfire may have killed or injured civilians. As well, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said most of the bullets we American.
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