In memory of


4          Afghan tribesmen

killed on April 29-30, 2002

 in the remote mountainous border region northeast of Khost city, Paktia Province. In the morning of the 29th, a six-man team of Australian Special Forces (SAS) came across a small group of Afghans who, surprised, raised their weapons. The Australians promptly shot two of them and requested extraction by air. Two Chinook helicopters arrived with over 200 U.S. paratroopers of the 101st Airborne. The following day at 4:30 A.M., the Australians again made contact with alleged Al Qaeda fighters killing another two. The Australian military spokesperson used a revealing “logic” to ascertain that the men were indeed Al Qaeda: they were in a location suspected as being a terrorist site. The mainstream corporate media as faithful stenographers of the occupation forces duly trumpeted “Four al Qaeda fighters killed in Afghanistan” ( The Times’ Anthony Lloyd wrote about this incident in an article titled “Don’t Believe All the Major Tells You”:


The coalition spokesman was specific. "Yesterday morning three al-Qaeda terrorists in eastern Afghanistan fired upon coalition special forces. The special forces responded, wounding or killing two of them," Major Bryan Hilferty told reporters at Bagram airbase. Within hours the story was around the world. Drawn from the coalition's official Bagram press conference, it depicted al-Qaeda terrorists as stumbling upon a Special Forces team, shooting at them, and falling in the response. A follow-up operation by US troops at the site had apparently resulted in the discovery of ammunition, weapons and cave complexes. The first holes in the coalition account appeared later that day. A Special Forces source involved in the shooting described a small number of armed men, probably Afghans, stumbling across a six-man team of Australian SAS. Surprised, the men raised their weapons and were shot in the chest by the SAS. Requesting extraction, the SAS were surprised by the arrival of two Chinooks full of American paratroopers, who began searching a nearby village. By their own account, the Americans admitted that one of the two weapons they found was an ancient Lee Enfield which they took from a villager's home as a trophy. The caves they discovered had livestock in them. The incident is forgotten now. The men's killing is curiously incidental to this particular story: if you carry a weapon in the wrong part of Afghanistan and point it at coalition special forces, you will inevitably die quickly. It is the glib assurance of the coalition's media machine in labeling the unidentified casualties as "al-Qaeda terrorists" that is important.

Seldom in a modern conflict has "fact" been so manipulated as it is by the Western media and coalition forces in Afghanistan today.



Killed by ground fire from Australian Special Forces