Michael's Dispatches

Taliban Attacking More Children


26 July 2011
Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

Over the past several days there have been news stories here in Afghanistan about the Taliban strangling an 8-year-old boy.   The reports say that his father refused to turn over a police vehicle to the enemy, and so they murdered his son.  Late last night, a courageous Afghan journalist named Mustafa Kazemi emailed an image of the boy that Mustafa said had been murdered.  Afghans are enraged.  They hate this behavior as much as we do.  The boy appears to have had his eyes gouged out before being strangled to death.  This image is graphic. (please scroll down)

And so last night I walked to the Headquarters of 4-4CAV here in Zhari District, the most active district in Afghanistan at this time.  I asked what was going on tonight.  A noncommissioned officer filled me in on the day’s events.  We had been in a minor ambush resulting in a slight injury and a damaged MRAP, so I knew about that one.  But then he explained about a boy whom he said the Taliban forced to step on an IED just down the road from here.  Apparently, according to Afghans, the Taliban may have been testing a new bomb made from a soda bottle.  The boy’s name is Jalil, and our people estimate that Jalil is 6 to 8-years-old.  Jalil was picking grapes with his brother when the Taliban, according to reporting, told the boy to step on the bomb.  It blew off his right leg below the knee, leaving hamburger on the stump, and fractured his femur.  Afghans brought Jalil to the nearby American base called COP Kolk, where 4-4CAV Soldiers treated him.  A helicopter took Jalil and his father to Kandahar Airfield for advanced treatment.

I asked the Taliban spokesman for his take on this, and he emailed back that “It is enemy propaganda.”  The evidence is against him.

I asked the Army to declassify the storyboard, and so they cleaned off some coordinates and other unimportant trivia, and here it is:


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joe · 9 years ago
    May Jalil heal as well as can be expected and may his family be reunited soon.

    Thanks Michael and my hope is these 'individuals' get their just reward....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mario · 9 years ago
    Disgusting. Thank you for showing these animals as they really are. Stay safe.
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    Randy R. LaBarge · 9 years ago
    Michael - Got my autographed copy of Inside The Inferno a couple of days ago. A stunning piece of work. I've looked at it several times since then. From an Air Force veteran... thanks for all you do to keep the unadulterated information flowing. Stay safe. God Speed.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James L. Owens · 9 years ago
    That made me as sick as I have not been since I left Nam. There I unfortunately saw others as badly wounded. But they were my Marines. These savages need to be extirpated as if they were vicious animals.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Manuela · 9 years ago
    How can humans do such things? What has happened to our world?
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    John-Capt in ANG · 9 years ago
    This why I never buy into isolationist theories. No matter what level you look at this, we have a responsibility to stop people who not only do these things but then export it. My guess is this is really Al Quieda. The Taliban are local and know this hurts them long term. However, they may also getting desperate and making mistakes (strategically and tactically).

    Last year the story that stuck in my head was the 7 yr old hung from a goal post because he MIGHT be helping us. My son was 7 then.

    I might be on my way back to Kabul soon (2-3 wks). Stay safe Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Cam · 9 years ago
    In Vietnam, the NVA taped grenades to children and sent them wandering into a camp. Boom.

    Commonly, pregnant women had their live children carved out of their bodies because they wouldn't give information on the Americans, or simply didn't know.

    Go further back in history, way back, it was popular to skin a conquered leader alive, sew the skin back together, fill it with air and put it on a stick. Skinbags.

    The Taliban are simply doing what's been done throughout history. It's horrific, it's meant to terrorize, and strike fear in the enemy. The only solution is to kill them for their actions.

    Action = reaction. Don't forget history.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ron · 9 years ago
    :sad: :-x
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    CJ · 9 years ago
    Looks like FoxNews is showing this story but not giving you proper credit... They say a courageous Afgan reporter... www.foxnews.com
  • This commment is unpublished.
    CJ · 9 years ago

    No link to this website nor mention of Michael
  • This commment is unpublished.
    CJ · 9 years ago
    They now have your name on the picture....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 9 years ago
    Thank you, CJ.
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    PNR · 9 years ago
    In '04 before our BN shipped out for Iraq, I referenced some of these things and told my Marines we were fighting to restrain evil and they should have no qualms about killing them, given that our only alternative was to permit such acts.

    One of the fresh, young 2nd Lieutenants didn't think the chaplain ought to talk that way. I just told him to wait until he had seen what they do for himself.

    It may offend some sensibilities to call this evil, but if this isn't, what is?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan · 9 years ago
    [quote name="John-Capt in ANG"]My guess is this is really Al Quieda. The Taliban are local and know this hurts them long term. However, they may also getting desperate and making mistakes (strategically and tactically).[/quote]
    No, this is pure classic Taliban. They've always been deranged and brutal.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    KP · 9 years ago
    So sad... Michael, is there a way you could get in contact with the boy and his father? I would love to set up a school fund for them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 9 years ago

    Great thoughts, but far too kinetic here now. You'd spend 10x more on security than the school. Other parts of Afghanistan are ready for this. Or, places like Nepal where your safety is not in question, or Laos, Cambodia, some parts of Thailand, Philippines. But not right here, not right now. This is a no-kidding war zone.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Radio Jihad Network · 9 years ago
    Where can one find more of these non classified reports from our military?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon · 9 years ago
    IJC is trying to get their message out. Since they are the good guys, here's how to get it. They've been truthful from what I've seen. Spread their message far and wide.

    E-Mail: ijc.media.operations@afghan.swa.army.mil

    Website: www.isaf.nato.int
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Violette · 9 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    CJ · 9 years ago
    Your hard work and dedication should at the very least be acknowledged when they use your stories...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jan · 9 years ago
    I can not imagine such cruelty! I can not wrap my mind around such pure evil. GOD bless you & all of military people.May GOD continue to bless America and the world's poor victims.
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    Leyla Najma · 9 years ago
    This is way beyond inhumane treatment! I hope Karma whips them in the ass!
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    MD · 9 years ago
    Until their society values children, male and female, and women dont expect much out of them as a whole. I am sure there are citizens who find this behavior horrendous-they need to stand up AGAINST this. How long can this particular family go against the Taliban? I am sure their friends and extended family memebers are going to feel the pressure.....
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    REBEL · 9 years ago
    The only good Taliban is a dead Taliban!!!!!
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    Leonard · 9 years ago
    The discusting followers of the dead prophet of Mecca are only doing the evil he did in murder, thieft, lying, extortion, child molesting and abuse as in his 9 year old wife. Anyone opening themselves to the evil satanic demonic koran and islam is tainted with this unclean hateful violent spirit of antichrist. Victory can only be found in true crusaders in the name of the God of Isreal and his son Jesus Christ in bearing not the sword in vain. And yes the concieved "scrapes of skin" being slaughtered in their mothers wombs are human. God bless you Michael and thank you for your message of truth.
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    Claudia · 9 years ago
    What a horrible tragedy for this family. I will pray for this boy and his family and that our armed forces find these b-----ds and give them theirs. What animals snd they claim to fo this in the name of religion. What religion wants the murder of innocent people. These are out right murderers and phycopaths.

    God speed to you all and thanks fir the stories !!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ArmyWife19D · 9 years ago
    My husband was at the gate at COP Kolk when they brought Jalil in for help. :sad: Sadly stuff like this happens all too often in Zari district. When it's a child...it cuts you deep. I know there would be no end if you followed up on every human interest story involving the brutal aftermath of what IEDs leave behind in Afghanistan, but I would love to see a follow up piece on this boy and his family somewhere down the road. I know it would mean a lot to the soldiers and families of 4-4 CAV. We're not always big on journalists in our house...but I love your work. Thank you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    wmaster@michaelyon · 9 years ago
    From Webmaster: Some of the comments have strayed far from Afghanistan and are unrelated to this website or the topics at hand. Those few comments have been archived.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Matty_J · 9 years ago

    All that's happened is that you are now aware of what we, who have spent our time in Iraq and Afghanistan, know. They are animals. They are not human. You do the rest of society a favor when you put down a mad dog. The same with jihadis.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    tatterdemalian · 9 years ago
    They're not animals, and trying to pretend they are only cripples our ability to fight them. They're engineers in a culture that desperately needs engineers, but also hates and fears them and the blasphemous laws of nature they use to develop the technological solutions their fellow Afghanis crave. The combined consequences of this are how we got to the situation we're in today, and why the Taliban can't be uprooted except by changing the culture of Afghanistan, something that even the Soviets couldn't manage with all their firepower.

    Maybe we can convince the Afghanis to change their own culture, somehow, but all signs point to "no."
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John-Capt in ANG · 9 years ago
    I've been out of theater for 9 months so I'm behind on intel but that's the direction it was heading in 09/10. Taliban just want us gone so they were angry at civilian casualties by AQ. However you're right, Taliban is known for this too. Tough to say to say but I'm sure Michael is privy to more we will read about later.

    No joke about South / southWest being war zone.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carl H · 9 years ago
    Bad cess to 'em. May their knives chip and shatter, and their seed fall upon dry stone.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    claudia · 9 years ago
    I disagree with tatterdemalian, in order to have the Afghanistan people change their culture you would have to have them be rational individuals who valued women and individualism and capitalism. They dont value any of these things, they live in the dark ages and they will never change. Some things never change no matter how much we want it to and try to make it change. There are decent people in Afghanistan who want change and crave it and are glad we are their, but their culture is just that their culture and it would be like asking a Christian to change his beliefs in God. I hope we can make a real difference in these peoples lives and that we can wipe out AQ before they attack any more innocent people... God bless you Michael and thanks for the amazing stories, would love to know how little Jalil is doing...
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    foxmuldar · 9 years ago
    How can humans do such things? What has happened to our world? Were not dealing with humans. Muslims are sub-human. Taliban are muslims. Taliban kill school girls for wanting to learn how to read and right. Anywhere you find Islam, you find ignorance and barbarity. Pakistan, Egypt, Somalia. Syria, all Muslim countries where they continue to kill christians. Islam is an evil ideology.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rebecca · 9 years ago
    Things like this are horrible. I've seen these thing while on deployment in the past. These images never leave you.
    Changes do need to happen. The thing to remember about the people causing such things is that while we may not want to look at them as human they are. It isn't one particular religion that has caused devastation, but the corruption of a religion. Many wars have been fought in the name of Religion. We don't need to change the religious practices of the masses, but the corruption of their religion. To wish curses on a whole nation for the actions of their evil citizen would be like wishing the same on any other country for the evils some of their citizens perpetrate.
    I pray every night for our soldiers and well my soldier now. I just sent my son off. I have many friends deployed. I also pray for their families because of the things like this that they do experience. It changes them in ways you never expect. Thank you for your service. Stay safe.

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