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Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

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Old 05-29-2004, 08:07 AM
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Angry Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire
Ex-NFL Player Died Serving in Afghanistan



AP
Pat Tillman was posthumously promoted to corporal and awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

LOS ANGELES (May 29) - Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire as he led his team of Army Rangers up a hill during a firefight in Afghanistan last month, newspapers in California and Arizona reported Saturday.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command was to release information later Saturday on the death of Tillman, who walked away from a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Arizona Republic and The Argus of Fremont (Calif.) both reported the Army would announce Tillman, 27, was killed by fire from his fellow soldiers.

''It does seem pretty clear that he was killed by friendly fire,'' Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Republic. Franks said his panel was alerted to the information by the Army's Legislative Liaison Office.

The Argus cited a family friend and also government sources it did not name as confirming the friendly fire report. Tillman's family declined to comment.

An Afghan military official told The Associated Press on Saturday that Tillman died because of a ''misunderstanding'' when two mixed groups of American and Afghan soldiers began firing wildly in the confusion following an explosion.

The Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also contradicted U.S. reports that the American soldiers had come under enemy fire.

The Army has said Tillman was leading his comrades against enemy shooters who had pinned down other soldiers when he was killed on April 22.

Tillman, a member of the elite Ranger unit since 2002, was posthumously promoted from specialist to corporal. He also was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

''While many of us will be blessed to live a longer life, few of us will ever live a better one,'' said Sen. John McCain. R-Ariz., who spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. ''He was a most honorable man.''

When the Army announced he was being awarded the Silver Star, it said Tillman was killed after his platoon was split into two sections for what officials called a ground assault convoy. Tillman was in charge of the lead group.

His group was safely out of the area when the trailing group came under mortar and small arms fire, according to the Army, and he ordered them to return.

''Through the firing, Tillman's voice was heard issuing fire commands to take the fight to the enemy on the dominating high ground,'' the award announcement said. ''Only after his team engaged the well-armed enemy did it appear their fires diminished.



''As a result of his leadership and his team's efforts, the platoon trail section was able to maneuver through the ambush to positions of safety without a single casualty,'' the announcement said.

The Afghan official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the two groups of soldiers had drifted some distance apart during the operation in the remote Spera district of Khost province, close to the Pakistani border.

''Suddenly the sound of a mine explosion was heard somewhere between the two groups and the Americans in one group started firing,'' the official said, citing an account given to him by an Afghan fighter who was part of that group, not Tillman's.

''Nobody knew what it was - a mine, a remote-controlled bomb - or what was going on, or if enemy forces were firing. The situation was very confusing,'' the official said.

''As the result of this firing, that American was killed and three Afghan soldiers were injured. It was a misunderstanding and afterwards they realized that it was a mine that had exploded and there were no enemy forces.''

U.S. military officials in Kabul had no immediate comment.


05-29-04 0727EDT
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

Now doesn't that just suck.

I suppose in war time conditions, in a hostile land, it can be confusing. But killed by your own "side" is just a mistake that doesn't, or shouldn't, have to happen. This will make his family feel so much worse, which is just terrible. My deepest deepest condolances go out to his friends, and family. I am truely sorry.

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Old 05-29-2004, 09:04 AM
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Old 05-29-2004, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

What a shame.
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

Very sad indeed. In the fog and confusion of battle this is bound to happen. It`s easy to pass judgement but none of us were there.
My condolences and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.
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Old 05-30-2004, 01:15 PM
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Unhappy Re: Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

Remember him this weekend as greed was not in his heart. It was the fight for freedom and Ol Glory in his heart .
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

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Old 05-30-2004, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Tillman Reportedly Killed by Friendly Fire

This was a terrible thing, but a casualty of war is still a casualty of war. This was a solder fighting for our county and what he believed in, and I think it does him a great disservice for the media to report that this happened. I am convinced the media it trying to turn this war into another Vietnam with the country divided solely for the sake of ratings.
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:49 PM
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God Bless Our Armed Forces.
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Old 05-30-2004, 05:40 PM
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