Washington, Jul 26: Just months after WikiLeaks shot up to popularity through a video showing US soldiers attacking civilians in Iraq, the independent whistleblowers' website has exposed a cache of secret US military files, which shows the disturbing real picture of the war in Afghanistan.
In one of the biggest leaks in US military history, more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports have surfaced giving a in-depth account of the war over the last six years.
The leaked documents, titled Afghan War Diary 2004-2010 on WikiLeaks, have not only revealed how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents but also account for the increase in the number of Taliban attacks along with the details on NATO's fears that Pakistan and Iran were fuelling the insurgency.
The files were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel.
WikiLeaks is an independent website that allows people to post information that the authorities would wish to keep as a secret.
Some of details revealed by the documents covering the period between Jan 2004 and Dec 2009 are listed below:
- 195 civilians have been improperly killed, 174 wounded in the military operations
- Innocent motorcyclists and drivers were shot on suspicion that they were suicide bombers
- Several civilian deaths were believed to have been caused by remote-controlled drones commanded from Nevada
- 2,000 civilians were killed by Taliban roadside bombs
- The documents revealed operations of a secret special forces called 'black unit' that is charged with the “kill or capture" without trial of Taliban leaders.
- In one shocking incident, a US patrol machine-gunned a bus, wounding or killing 15 passengers
- More than 300 British troops and 1,000 Americans have been killed in the conflict
- Incidents involving British troops killing civilians in Kabul are also detailed