In memory of

 

Faiz, 25, father of two

killed in the evening of March 4, 2007

 
on a well-traveled road near Kandahar city. Faiz was driving along. What followed was explained by his father, Akhtar to Iqbal Ahmed in Kandahar (
source: http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/05/11/188690.aspx ):

 
"A NATO convoy was parked alongside of the road with full headlights blinding the oncoming traffic," said Akhtar. "My son would not have known what to do, because he would have been blinded by the lights. Eyewitnesses told me the soldiers fired into his car, then took him from the car and shot him over and over again. His body had more than 30 bullet wounds from his head down to his legs. How can a father bear this?" asked Akhtar, who goes by one name as is common in Afghanistan, and whose eyes, by now, were brimming with tears. "When I told his mother she screamed, tore her clothes and then collapsed," said Akhtar. In the photo here, Akhtar plays with his grand-daughters Frishta and Madina, children of Faiz.

Faiz owned a little food shop on Shahrinow Street, a main street in Kandahar. What he earned from selling biscuits, water, soft drinks and convenience items went to support his wife, two baby daughters and his aging parents. By any standards the family is poor and can barely scrape by. Faiz’s friend minds the shop now.

The family house is made from mud and wood. A triangular opening is cut out in the roof to let in shafts of light. There is no electricity. The room where we sat together was about nine feet long and 12 feet wide. It was sparsely furnished with traditional carpets on the floors and red and pink floral-patterned fabrics on the walls. The inside of the house smelt from the cows and goats that were kept in the small garden outside. We sat together on the floor and drank tea as Akhtar’s granddaughters, Faiz’s children -- 2-year-old Madina, and 3-year-old Frishta, -- demanded their grandfather’s attention.

 

After visiting Akhtar, I went to the NATO base in Kandahar to try and find out any information about Faiz. NATO’s spokesman, Lt Col Stephan Grenier was not aware of the incident or of  Faiz’s death..

"There are red signs on all vehicles that say ‘keep back, keep away, pull over to the side of the road and let the convoy pass,’" Grenier said. "Only if all those warning have been ignored, do we actually assume that the vehicle is a suicide vehicle and open up."

"What happens when someone can’t read the signs?" I asked. "After all, over 60 percent of Afghans are illiterate."

Grenier’s response was swift: "When you see ISAF (U.S. NATO and Afghan army) convoys, pull off the road, obey all signals and obey instantly."

But locals complain that at nighttime the lights on the military convoys are blinding, they get confused and don’t know what to do.  A lone report by NBC News’ Igbal Ahmed in Kandahar carried the story of Faiz.

Killed by 30 bullets fired by NATO occupation soldiers