An Afghan girl in Helmand province led a typically sheltered life of the strict Muslim culture in the area. To reach such inhabitants of the remote area, the British resorted to dropping leaflets and succeeded in reaching the girl directly. She was reportedly crushed by a box of public information leaflets dropped by the British Royal Air Force. The drops have been used to either warn residents of the dangers of unexploded bombs or as part of “psychops” missions to “win the hearts and minds” of the population. This includes the standard leaflet below asking girls to think about their future.
The British Ministry of Defense has called the case “highly regrettable,” a position that appears a bit understated.
The RAF explains that “[s]adly one of the boxes failed to fully open” and the 40-pound box crushed the girl.
One of the common leaflets dropped in the area reads “Is this the future you want for your women and children?” Answer would appear to be no. Crushing the population of girls from the air is probably not the future that most want to embrace in the province.