Soldier dismissed for stabbing Afghan boy – report


A soldier has been dismissed from the army after stabbing a 10-year-old Afghan boy with a bayonet, the Guardian said in a report confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.

The report said Grenadier Guardsman Daniel Crook had a hangover when he bayoneted the boy, who was on an errand. Crook could not explain why carried out the attack, which took place early last year, the report said.

The Guardian quoted prosecutors as saying that the day after a heavy drinking session in March, Crook had come across Ghulam Nabi riding his bike and ordered him to stop, Reuters reports.
“But he was just a little child and didn’t understand. The soldier had just come out of his base and he didn’t have a gun, only a bayonet. He grabbed Ghulam and stabbed him in the back, near his waist,” the Guardian quoted prosecutors as saying.

Crook was subsequently jailed for 18 months and dismissed from the army, the Guardian said.

A defence ministry spokeswoman said the report was “correct” but declined to comment on the details.

“All British troops undergo comprehensive training on the strict rules of engagement that UK forces and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operate under,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Any allegations of infringements of these rules of engagement are investigated thoroughly. Those who are found to fall short of the army’s high standards or who are found to have committed an offence are dealt with administratively (up to and including discharge) or through the discipline process, as appropriate.”

Nabi now has a big scar on his back and is unable to go school due to difficulties walking and riding his bike, the Guardian said, citing his father, who has received $800 in compensation after asking for $40,000.

Civilian casualties caused by foreign troops in Afghanistan hunting Taliban fighters and other insurgents have long been a major source of friction between the Afghan government and its Western backers.