RAF admits to killing Afghan girl by accident

By staff writers
September 30, 2009

The government is facing yet another criticism over the war in Afghanistan after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) admitted that a girl in the country's Helmand province died due to a leaflet drop by the Royal Air Force (RAF).

It appears that a box of leaflets failed to break open in mid-air and that the child was severely injured when the box hit her. She later died in hospital.

“Despite the best efforts of staff [at a hospital in Kandahar], she died as a result of her injuries” explained an MoD spokesperson.

He described the event as a “tragic incident”, expressed regret and said a full investigation was underway.

Leaflet drops are used by US and UK forces to disseminate information and to promote their view of the situation in Afghanistan. The leaflet boxes are designed to open in mid-air, thus scattering the contents.

The MoD refused to comment on what sort of leaflet was involved on this occasion.

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