A United Nations report containing details of the killing of innocent Afghan villagers on the same day and area of the controversial SAS raid says the official post-incident investigation was not shared with local authorities or human rights officials despite requests.
Afghanistan's Human Rights investigators wrote about the deaths in a 2011 report, describing similar circumstances to those alleged in Hit & Run, the book released this week by investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson.
Although the incident sounds very similar to the book's description of the SAS raid, the Weekend Herald has not been able to verify that both accounts are about the same event.
"International military forces conducted an investigation into an air strike on 22 August in Tala Wa Barfak district in Baghlan province that caused six civilian deaths and four injuries," the report said.
Hager and Stephenson have reported six civilians were killed and another 15 people were injured in a raid on two villages in Tirgiran valley, Baghlan, early in the morning on 22 August 2010.
The investigators, who usually conduct both on-site investigations and wherever possible cross-check information, said they were told the strike was not coordinated with Provincial Reconstruction Teams based in Baghlan or with Baghlan authorities.
They said although their investigation team was sent from Regional Command North on numerous occasions, they received minimal cooperation from district authorities.
"The team was unable to interview victims, was not shown grave sites and was not able to visit the incident site," they said.
"Although the district governor presented a list of victims to the investigation team, the official International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) investigation report has not been shared with district and provincial authorities, [Human Rights investigators] in spite of requests."
According to the district authorities there was no further government follow-up on the raid, the investigators said.
The report was issued jointly by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA Human Rights) with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in 2011.
It reported that during 2010 there were 2777 civilians killed in Afghanistan, with 2080 attributed to Anti-Government Elements, and 440 deaths to Pro-Government Forces.
The UN recommended international military forces undertake thorough, impartial and transparent investigations into all incidents involving civilian casualties, and take any disciplinary action necessary.
It also asked for improved transparency on Special Forces' operations and for the international military to publicly accept responsibility "where civilian harm has occurred as a result of their actions".
Hager and Stephenson released their book, Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the meaning of honour on Tuesday.
The book claimed that six civilians were killed and another 15 people were injured in the raid - in contrast to assurances given at the time by Defence chiefs and the Prime Minister.
The Defence Force has said this week it stands by its 2011 statement that "the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded", despite the former Defence Force head Wayne Mapp appearing to concede the deaths were civilians; an SAS soldier confirming civilians were killed; and a group of top lawyers calling for an independent inquiry into what they called a "cover-up".
Prime Minister Bill English said the government would not "rush into an inquiry".