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Wednesday, 8th June 2011

The Takhar attack: Targeted killings and the parallel worlds of US intelligence and Afghanistan

Source: Afghanistan Analysts Network

From the Executive Summary:

On 2 September 2010, ISAF announced that ‘coalition forces’ had killed the Taleban deputy shadow governor of Takhar who was also a ‘senior member’ of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in an air attack. Immediately, Afghans, including the provincial governor, police chief and President Karzai insisted an egregious mistake had been made and civilians who had been campaigning in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections had been targeted. Ten were killed and seven injured. The military has remained adamant to this day that it got the right man.

Claims of civilian casualties are many in Afghanistan, but getting evidence from the field is difficult, given that most operations occur in insecure areas. In this case, the author has been able to interview survivors,witnesses, police and senior Afghan officials to piece together an extremely detailed account of the attack. Crucially, senior officers from the US Special Forces unit that actually carried out the operation also gave lengthy accounts of what happened, including the intelligence behind the operation. This combination of sources makes this report a highly significant case study.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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