CJ reports that the Kossacks are already sniffing this out for Haditha potential. I wouldn’t worry. Afghanistan is the war they pretend to support so they gain nothing by demagoguing this, except maybe a chance for Murtha to connect it up to “troop fatigue” and how it never would have happened if those 150,000 troops were in Kabul instead of Baghdad and Anbar. Because you can imagine, if we hadn’t invaded Iraq, how cheerfully the left would have greeted the news of a huge escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan over the past few years.
The long and short: a suicide bomber blew up near a U.S. convoy, jihadis popped up and started firing at them, and the convoy took off, allegedly shooting at cars they passed while making their escape. Ten Afghans were killed, 35 were wounded. The Afghans say they were shot by Marines but a military spokesman says they might well have been shot by jihadis. This is a little dicey, though:
U.S. forces near Sunday’s bombing later deleted photos taken by a freelance photographer working for The Associated Press and video taken by a freelancer working for AP Television News. Neither the photographer nor the cameraman witnessed the suicide attack or the subsequent gunfire. It was not immediately known why the soldiers deleted the photos and videos. The U.S. military did not immediately comment on the matter.
The freelance photographer, Rahmat Gul, said he took photos of a four-wheel drive vehicle where three Afghans had been shot to death inside.
An American soldier then took Gul’s camera and deleted the photos. Gul said he later received permission to take photos from another soldier, but that the first soldier came back and angrily told him to delete the photos again. Gul said the soldier then raised his fist as if he was going to strike Gul.
This all took place near Jalalabad, in the province of Nangarhar, which is right on the border with Pakistan. The troops involved are elite — reportedly, Marine Special Forces. Kunar province, where the alleged attack on the senior AQ leader’s headquarters took place, is immediately to the north. I wonder if these guys were involved if they’re just hunting Taliban generally.
Update: The AP has a second story about troops allegedly threatening the photographer. “Delete them, or we will delete you.”