Germany pays compensation to family of three dead Afghans

4th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Officials say it is to avoid further attacks out of ‘vengeance.’

Berlin -- Germany has paid compensation to relatives of a woman and two children shot dead last week at roadblock in Afghanistan, a Defense Ministry spokesman said in Berlin Wednesday.

He declined to reveal the size of the payment.

German peacekeepers opened fire when the civilian car moved off the road, ignoring orders to stay at the roadblock near the northern Afghan town of Kunduz. Two more people were wounded.

Berlin says the soldiers acted in line with orders. German troops have been tense in recent weeks after a surge of attacks on them.

The spokesman said the compensation was arranged during mediation with the family's Pashtun tribal leader.

German members of a provincial reconstruction team met with a brother of the dead woman. After receiving the compensation, the brother pronounced the family's forgiveness in line with Pashtun custom. When a wrong is not forgiven, Pashtuns often seek revenge.

The spokesman said the payment did not represent any admission of liability but was intended to prevent acts of revenge. This was in accord with the host country's customs.

German civilian prosecutors have been reviewing the case to see if the Germans soldiers were criminally liable.


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