Selin ATAY-TDO- A report in Australia has revealed that 39 unarmed civilians have been killed by Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan after being arrested.
The report by the inspector general of the Defence Forces (IGADF) also highlighted credible evidence that senior commandos forced recruits to kill defenseless prisoners to get used to seeing blood.
Australian General Angus John Campbell has detailed the findings of the inquiry into the conduct of Special Forces personnel in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. General Campbell said 25 Australian Special Forces personnel had committed 39 “unlawful killings” in 23 separate incidents.
General Campbell stressed that none of the killings included in the report were identified "in the heat of war" and that the killings were consciously committed. Campbell said there was no evidence in the report that the perpetrators committed the murders unwillingly or that there was a mix-up at the time of the incident.
Following the release of the report, the Australian government announced that 19 active and former soldiers would be prosecuted for allegedly killing 39 Afghan natives.
The report which recommended compensation be paid to the families of the victims, comes after Australian Prime Minister Morrison met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
"The Australian Prime Minister has expressed his deepest regret over the abuse of office by some Australian soldiers in Afghanistan," Ghani's office said in a statement after the interview.
General Campbell said there was "credible information" that 25 personnel in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had either committed crimes or at least been involved in serious crimes. "I sincerely and unconditionally apologize to the people of Afghanistan, on behalf of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), for any wrongdoing by Australian soldiers," Campbell also said in a statement.
Australia has had military forces in Afghanistan since 2002 as part of a US-led coalition fighting Taliban militias. Currently, 1,500 Australian troops are serving in Afghanistan.