A NATO probe into a Canadian convoy shooting in Kandahar is calling for improved training for coalition and Afghan forces on the compensation process as well as greater involvement of interpreters so that similar incidents don't happen again.

Regional Command South, which oversees NATO operations in southern Afghanistan, launched an assessment after a small group of Afghan National Army soldiers shot at three Canadian vehicles southwest of Kandahar city on Boxing Day.

The assessment of the incident is restricted, but Lt.-Col. Webster Wright, a RC-South spokesman discussed its findings and recommendations with The Canadian Press.

The Afghan troops were manning a checkpoint near the Dand district centre in Deh-e-Bagh when a resupply convoy backed up and hit an Afghan army pickup truck, causing some damage.

The Canadian convoy commander, whom the NATO assessment identifies only as a corporal, tried to give a compensation claims card to an Afghan army lieutenant. But the lieutenant refused to accept it, saying he wanted cash instead because he had been reprimanded by his supervisors in the past when he could not produce money for vehicle damage.

There was an interpreter with the Canadians, but the assessment does not specify whether his help was enlisted to resolve the dispute, Wright said.

The Canadian troops then tried to continue down the road, but the Afghan army blocked them with their vehicles and fired at the Task Force Kandahar convoy. The Canadians did not return fire. No one was hurt in the incident.

 Wright said the assessment issued four recommendations, including:

  • Improved training so troops are aware of the compensation process.
  • Inclusion military debriefs at the end of each mission to determine whether improvements can be made.
  • Better documentation of road accidents, such as taking photographs of the compensation claims card, accident site and damages.
  • More thorough tracking of each compensation claim on whether it's denied or paid.