Troops in Afghanistan Had Special Group to Exterminate "Terrorists"
Hundreds of civilians were killed without public and official knowledge by coalition troops in Afghanistan. Secret plans to kill leaders of the extremist Taliban and Al Qaeda and the discussion of the alleged involvement of Iran and Pakistan in supporting the insurgents were recurring themes for military leaders.
The troops in Afghanistan were maintaining a unit of "hunters" to "kill or capture" Taliban leaders without trial.
The information was published in a series of reports in the British newspaper The Guardian on Sunday.
The newspaper also revealed secret documents that prove the development of these actions by coalition troops.
According to the Guardian, the information comes from a collection of more than 90,000 documents of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict. They have been placed on the air and on the internet - one of the biggest information leaks in the military history of the United States.
Besides the "Guardian", the files were available at two other newspapers: the German "Der Spiegel" and the U.S. "New York Times," who wrote of the battles over the past six years, which cost the lives of more than 320 British and 1,000 Americans.
The documents said at least 195 civilians were killed and 174 wounded. The number, however, may be underestimated because in many missions, the troops omit this type of event.
Errors that caused civilian deaths also include the day that French troops bombed a bus full of children in 2008, killing eight. A similar patrol of U.S. troops killed 15 passengers.
The documents also point to the extermination of a village during a wedding party, including a pregnant woman, in an apparent revenge attack.
The newspaper said the U.S. also covered up that the Taliban acquired air missiles, and that it hid a massacre perpetrated by the terrorist group because of the use of bombs, which decimated more than 2,000 civilians up to that time.
In a statement, the White House said the situation shown by the reports resulted from the administration prior to that of Barack Obama.
"It is important to note that the time period reflected in the documents is January 2004 to December 2009," the government states.
"We strongly condemn the disclosure of confidential information by individuals and organizations, which puts the lives of American service men and women at risk, and threatens our national security," continues the note.
"The Wikileaks [Internet site in which they were published] made no effort to contact the U.S. government on those documents that contain information that may endanger the lives of Americans, our partners and local people who cooperate with us. "
Translated from the Portuguese version by: