US Officer Says We're Sorry With Sheep

Special Ops commander asks family of 5 dead for forgiveness
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2010 5:46 AM CDT
Updated Apr 9, 2010 6:19 AM CDT
US Officer Says We're Sorry With Sheep
Sheep diplomacy: A marine buys a sheep for an Afghan colleagues Ramadan celebration.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

The most senior special operations commander in the American military begged a grieving Afghan father for forgiveness—by taking him two sheep. The man lost two sons, two daughters and a grandchild in a botched special forces operation in February. The peace offering seems to have worked: "We were very happy he came to our house," a relative said. "We told him, 'Thank you very much. We will not keep anything in our heart against you."

According to local tradition, the father will no longer be able to seek revenge, the Times of London reports, adding that the family also received about $30,000. He'd previously said he wanted to avenge the deaths by becoming a suicide bomber, ABC notes. It was the first time Vice Admiral William McRaven had publicly acknowledged his troops' role in the February attacks; soldiers had attempted to disguise the killings by digging bullets out of the victims' bodies.

(More Afghanistan stories.)

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