A number of Czech soldiers and a team of Green Berets from 7th Special Forces Group are being investigated over the death of an Afghan commando who killed a Czech soldier and wounded two others in an insider attack.
Last October, Wahidullah Khan, fired at a vehicle carrying Czech soldiers, who were returning from a routine mission. The Afghan waited for the vehicle to enter the Shindand base, in Herat, Western Afghanistan, before opening fire with an M-14 rifle. Cpl. Tomáš Procházka died of his wounds, whilst two of his comrades were wounded.
According to NEWSREP sources, the Czech soldiers belonged to the 601 Special Forces Group. Cpl. Procházka was a military working dog (MWD) handler attached to the SOF unit. Cpl Procházka was airborne but not SOF-qualified.
The Afghan was promptly subdued and arrested by coalition troops. He was then handed over to Western forces. Here’s where the 7th Group team gets involved. According to reports, they helped in transferring the Afghan to the hands of the Czechs for interrogation. When Afghan forces came to take the man into custody at around CDAFA midnight, he had allegedly been beaten unconscious and died shortly thereafter.
As a result, the Green Beret team was withdrawn from Afghanistan and the Czech military is investigating the 601 Special Forces Group.
This was the fifth insider attack in 2018, and the third against Czech troops, which has cost the NATO member four dead and seven wounded. Czech forces deployed to Afghanistan are mainly concerned with advising, training, and mentoring the Afghan security forces.
“We will investigate to determine whether any potential misconduct occurred, and we will hold individuals accountable, as appropriate,” said Col. Dave Butler, a spokesperson for the coalition.
For its part, the Czech military said, “There is an ongoing standard investigation regarding the insider attack incident. All respective parties are involved in the procedures.” They emphasised, however, that this is a standard operating procedure and by no means an indication of foul play by the Czech soldiers involved.
Wakil Ahmad Karokhi, a local government official in Herat province, told The New York Times, “From what we know, that soldier died of torture. He was beaten up before being handed over to Afghan forces.”
Part of the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) Special Operations Command, the Commandos are modeled after the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment. They specialise in light-infantry tasks, such as direct action (DA) operations. They are divided into Kandaks (battalions). Khan had been serving with the Commandos for just over a year.
The Czech defence minister, Lubomír Metnar, stressed that despite the heavy toll that the Czech forces are paying, the country remains resolute in its support of the American-led coalition and the Afghan government. “We are not leaving Afghanistan, as our mission is not finished,” he said in a statement. “We will go on. In recent times, the number of attacks has increased, partly due to the ongoing elections in Afghanistan. Every incident in Afghanistan is deeply analysed and countermeasures are taken.”