Military Wiki
Khataba raid
Location Khataba village, Paktia Province, Afghanistan
Date February 12, 2010
Attack type
Victims 5
Perpetrator U.S. Special Forces

The Khataba raid was an incident in the War in Afghanistan in which five civilians, including two pregnant women and a teenage girl, were killed by U.S. forces on February 12, 2010.[1][2] All were shot when U.S. Special Forces raided a house in Khataba village, outside the city of Gardez, where dozens of people had gathered earlier at the home to celebrate the naming of newborn baby.[3][4] Initially, U.S. Military officials implied the three women were killed prior to the raid by family members, reporting that the women had been found "tied up, gagged and killed."[5] But investigators sent by the Afghan government reported, based on interviews and pictures of the scene, that U.S. Special Forces removed bullets from the victims' bodies and cleaned their wounds as part of an attempted cover-up.[6] NATO initially denied this allegation and Afghan investigator Merza Mohammed Yarmand stated "We can not confirm it as we had not been able to autopsy the bodies."[5] The US military later admitted that the three women were killed by the special forces team during the raid.[7]


NATO promised a full investigation of the incident but the bodies of the deceased were buried according to religious tradition before NATO could conduct autopsies to confirm the allegations.[7] Insisting that the deaths were a "terrible mistake"[8] Vice Admiral William McRaven, the head of Joint Special Operations Command, the unit which conducted the raid, visited Khataba two months after the raid. He offered an apology and accepted responsibility for the deaths and made a traditional Afghan condolence offering of sheep.[9]

In Media

  • Dirty Wars a 2013 American documentary


  1. Cavendish, Julius (April 9, 2010). "US Special Forces apologise for botched night raid". The Independent. London. 
  2. Starkey, Jerome (March 15, 2010). "Survivors of family killed in Afghanistan raid threaten suicide attacks". The Times. London. 
  3. Starkey, Jerome (April 5, 2010). "US special forces tried to coverup botched Khataba raid in Afghanistan". The Times. London. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Oppel, Richard A.; Abdul Waheed Wafa (2010-04-05). "Afghan Investigators Say U.S. Troops Tried to Cover Up Evidence in Botched Raid". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-02. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tucker Reals (April 5, 2010). "Afghans: U.S. Troops "Covered-Up" Civilian Deaths". CBS News. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. 
  8. Staff (April 9, 2010). "Special Forces chief begs forgiveness for killing five innocents". Edinburgh: The Scotsman. 
  9. Julius Cavendish,. "US military offers sheep in apology for Afghanistan deaths". Christian Science Monitor. 

External links

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