The UK special forces allegedly killed nine people “in their beds” during a night raid in Afghanistan, according to an independent inquiry. Family members state that unarmed civilians were the victims, while the SAS maintains they acted in self-defense. Senior officers suspected that troops were implementing a policy of executing “fighting age” men, even if they posed no threat.
The government initiated the inquiry after a BBC Panorama report revealed that an SAS squadron had participated in suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of 54 people during a six-month tour. As substantive hearings commenced at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Monday, accusations emerged that UK special forces were using night raids to commit “numerous” extra-judicial killings, allegedly subsequently concealing them.
Special forces conducted hundreds of deliberate detention operations between 2010 and 2013. Lead counsel for the inquiry, Oliver Glasgow KC, outlined the specifics of seven separate kill/capture missions, resulting in the deaths of 33 people, including several children.
The alleged unlawful killings of nine individuals in the Nad Ali district of Helmand reportedly occurred as multiple families gathered before a wake on February 7, 2011. They were sleeping in a single-roomed outbuilding.
The SAS contended that they had fired in self-defense after responding to gunfire. However, Mr. Glasgow noted the relatively low placement of what appear to be bullet holes in the walls of the outbuilding, which the BBC first revealed last year.
Special forces took Mr. Alizai from his room for “interrogation and beatings” before he encountered the bodies of his two sons and the seven others who had been killed. He had awoken due to the “noise of shouting and gunshots.”
During the hearing, Mr. Glasgow stated, “The family claimed that all the deceased individuals were innocent civilians”.