Forces in Afghanistan told to limit nighttime raids: report

Forces in Afghanistan told to limit nighttime raids: report

The move is seen as an attempt to bring down the civilian casualties if any during such operations.The CNN reported that the directive in this regard has been signed by General Steanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

"The document orders forces to use Afghan troops at night 'whenever possible' to knock on doors of residences and compounds, and to use them if forcible action is required for entry," an official said, according to the CNN.

According to the news channel, nighttime raids in which troops enter private homes have sparked problems for US and NATO forces as these raids are viewed as overly invasive -- a violation of the privacy of the home in Afghan culture -- and they can turn violent.

The McChrystal directive also orders troops to "conduct an analysis" of whether it is militarily essential to conduct a raid at night or whether it can be put off until daylight, the official said.

If troops can keep a target under surveillance but wait for daylight, they then can enlist the aid of village elders, perhaps, in determining if a home or compound poses a threat, the official said, according to CNN. Meanwhile General McChrystal in a video message to Afghans apologised for an incident this week in which 27 Afghan civilians were killed.

"I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people. I pledge to strengthen our efforts to regain your trust to build a brighter future for all Afghans," he said in the message.

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