PUL-I-ALAM, Afghanistan -- The American soldiers stormed into the Afghan family's compound in the middle of the night, kicking in doors and shouting. They ordered everyone into the yard, bound their hands, covered their heads and interrogated them for hours before taking away three men who had done nothing wrong.
At least that's the way the Afghans tell it.
NATO has a different account of the raid: A force led by Afghans was searching for a Taliban leader and got a tip from residents that three insurgents were living in the compound. The force struck at night when the suspects were likely to be home and took all three away for further questioning. The troops were as respectful as they could be, given that they had to make sure no one started shooting at them.
This happens in Afghanistan nearly every night. Sometimes the men turn out to be bombmakers or fighters, sometimes ordinary civilians. But in every case there are angry family members who feel violated or mistreated.
The U.S. will likely rely more and more on night raids as it shifts to a strategy of using special operators and drones to track down and kill Taliban leaders following President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday that 30,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by next summer.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly condemned night operations as unnecessary and humiliating.
Accounts of what happened at the Khosrawi family compound in eastern Logar province on June 8 show why night raids continue to be such a flash point, and why NATO may never be able to conduct them without making enemies.
This much everyone agrees on: Two of the men taken in the raid were released five days later. The third, a teenager, is still being held.
Relatives say even if all of them are eventually freed, they will still feel wronged.
"Even if he is a criminal, is it really necessary to charge into a man's house in the middle of the night when he is there with his children?" asked Samad Shah Khosrawi, a cousin of the detained men who works at the electric company in Kabul and has been trying to enlist powerful government allies to free the remaining detainee.
Nineteen-year-old Nooryalai Khosrawi, the older brother of the detained teenager, spoke to The Associated Press in Kabul a few days after the raid. He gave the following account:
The four families that live in the Khosrawi compound -- 25 people in all -- went to sleep in their separate houses as usual. Sometime in the middle of the night, soldiers started jumping over the property wall and into the yard.
Nooryalai Khosrawi said he woke up when a soldier broke down the door to his room. When he opened his eyes a man was standing over him with a gun.
The soldiers took everyone outside into the courtyard, tied their wrists and put hoods over their heads. Nooryalai Khosrawi's youngest brother started sobbing. He pushed him to the ground to stop the crying. He was afraid it would antagonize the soldiers.
The Americans took people to the corner of the compound one by one to ask them questions.
"They asked me, 'What did you do today and where did you go?' I said I went to school and back home," Nooryalai Khosrawi said. The Americans accused him of rigging one of the compound's motorcycles with explosives. He said it wasn't true.
Soldiers told him they had reports from elders in Sorayak village that insurgents were in the compound. He said the reports were wrong.
Although NATO says it conducts night raids only in partnership with Afghan forces and said numerous Afghan security forces were involved in the raid, Nooryalai Khosrawi said he saw only two Afghans in the force -- and both were translators. The rest were American soldiers.
The Logar provincial police chief said only one Afghan security force member was involved in the operation, the district police commander.
"In special operations like this there are not a huge number of troops so we only sent one police representative," Ghulam Sakhi Rog Lewandi said in an interview in the provincial capital of Pul-i-Alam. He said he did not know how many U.S. troops were involved.
When they finished the questioning after two or three hours, the soldiers took the three men away with them, along with seven mobile phones they had confiscated. No one knew where they were going or if they'd see the captives again, Nooryalai Khosrawi said.