At least 80 Afghan civilians may have been victims of summary killings by three separate British Special Air Service (SAS) units—that were operating in the country between 2010 and 2013--the Guardian reported, citing lawyers who represent the bereaved families.
The report said that the fresh claims are cited in a document submitted by the law firm Leigh Day, based on previous Ministry of Defense court disclosures, to a new public inquiry into allegations of war crimes committed by SAS soldiers in Afghanistan.
Leigh Day argues that there were “at least 30 suspicious incidents which resulted in the deaths of more than 80 individuals” between 2010 and 2013, but until now there has been no independent public investigation of what happened.
TOLOnews interviewed a relative of the victims in the southern province of Helmand.
“They were also asking us very tough questions then. There was both fear and hardship then and they were telling me that we killed your brother and tortured him and we are going to torture and kill you as well,” said Abdul Hameed, a resident of Babaji district of Helmand.
Some of the family members of the war victims in Helmand called for the perpetrators who committed war crimes to be held accountable.
“My father went out. The foreigners came, they had weapons. My father hugged me, and the armed individual pulled me down from my father. They beat my father. Then they put black hoods on my father and uncle. Now when I see any armed individual, I feel fear and I hate them,” said Hayatullah, a resident of Helmand.
“We want those people who conducted these crimes to be punished. They should be held accountable for why this happened. These people should be paid with compensation,” said Shah Mohammad, a resident of Helmand.
According to the Guardian's report, one of the British elite soldiers is believed to have “personally killed” 35 Afghans on a single six-month tour of duty as part of an alleged policy to terminate “all fighting-age males” in homes raided, “regardless of the threat they posed."
Afghans were often killed after allegedly producing weapons when separated from their wider family by SAS soldiers, but there were five incidents where the number shot dead exceeded the number of weapons found, the report said.
The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that the war crimes committed by NATO forces in Afghanistan have been widespread.
“They martyred thousands of innocent Afghans with various excuses. Those countries who had security forces in Afghanistan, all of them committed crimes. This was not a crime to be committed by some soldiers, but it was a pre-planned issue,” he said.
A political analyst, Aziz Maarij, suggested a commission should be formed to pursue such cases. "This issue will not be investigated in its own way and there will be no compensation until the Afghan nation appeals and the Afghan nation should form a commission,” he said.
The Guardian also quoted a British Defense Ministry’s spokesman as saying that it would be up to the inquiry how it conducts its work:
“It is not appropriate for the MoD to comment on cases which are within the scope of the statutory inquiry, and it is up to the statutory inquiry team, led by Lord Justice Haddon-Cave, to determine which allegations are investigated,” the spokesman said as quoted by Guardian.
In May, Australia's defense chief said that the United States warned him in 2021 that allegations of Australian special forces soldiers killing prisoners and civilians in Afghanistan may trigger a law prohibiting assistance from the United States.