Posts Tagged ‘US air strike’

Afghan Official Says US Air Strike Kills 10 Civilians, Including Children

June 12, 2009
US Says Investigating “Unsubstantiated” Claims

by Jason Ditz,,  June 11, 2009

Yesterday it was reported that an overnight US air strike in Afghanistan’s Ghor Province killed a warlord named Mullah Mustafa with reported ties to Iran’s Quds Force. Today it’s being acknowledged, in the wake of a phone interview with the mullah, that he likely survived the attack. To make matters worse, the US says it is also investigating what it called “unsubstantiated” reports that it killed civilians.

Ghor’s deputy governor Ikrammudin Rezazada says villagers are reporting 12 militants killed in the bombing, Mustafa not being one of them, but 10 civilians were killed as well, six of them children. The provincial government says it is conducting its own investigation into the matter.

The attack is the latest in a long series of air strikes which have caused an enormous civilian toll in the nation. The most dramatic case was last month in Farah Province, when US strikes killed 140 civilians, most of them children.

The US claims that the latest killings are “unsubstantiated” is likely losing some credibility because in the aftermath of the Farah strike, the military changed its official story several times. Initially it insisted the entire incident was manufactured by the Taliban, then it accused civilians of lying about the toll to get money. It was only this week that the Pentagon finally conceded that the toll was correct and that there had been “some problems” with the attack.

‘120 die’ as US bombs village

May 7, 2009

Afghan outrage after strike targeting Taliban fighters hits women and children

By Patrick Cockburn in Kabul

The Independent, UK, May 7, 2009

Afghan villagers sift through the rubble of destroyed houses after the coalition air strikes in the Bala Baluk district of Farah province, Afghanistan


Afghan villagers sift through the rubble of destroyed houses after the coalition air strikes in the Bala Baluk district of Farah province, Afghanistan

A misdirected US air strike has killed as many as 120 Afghans, including dozens of women and children. The attack is the deadliest such bombing involving civilian casualties so far in the eight years since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Families in two villages in Farah province in western Afghanistan were digging for bodies in the ruins of their mudbrick houses yesterday. “There were women and children who were killed,” said Jessica Barry, a Red Cross spokeswoman. “It seemed they were trying to shelter in houses when they were hit.” Survivors said the number of dead would almost certainly to rise as the search for bodies continued.

The killing of so many Afghan civilians by US aircraft is likely to infuriate Afghans and lead to an increase in support for the Taliban in the bombed area. President Hamid Karzai, who was meeting President Barack Obama in Washington yesterday, sent a joint US-Afghan delegation to investigate the incident. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, standing next to Mr Karzai, voiced her “deep regret”.

US ‘killed 47 Afghan civilians’

July 11, 2008

BBC NEWS, July 11, 2008

Medical staff help a boy injured in Sunday's attack

Medical staff help a boy injured in Sunday’s attack

A US air strike in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday killed 47 civilians, 39 of them women and children, an Afghan government investigating team says.

Reports at the time said that 20 people were killed in the airstrike in Nangarhar province. The US military said they were militants.

But local people said the dead were wedding party guests.

Correspondents say the issue of civilian casualties is hugely sensitive in Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai has said that no civilian casualty is acceptable.

Demand for trial

Mr Karzai set up a nine-man commission to look into Sunday’s incident.

The commission is headed by Senate deputy speaker, Burhanullah Shinwari whose constituency is in Nangarhar province. He told the BBC: ”Our investigation found out that 47 civilians (were killed) by the American bombing and nine others injured.

Map showing Nangarhar province

“There are 39 women and children” among those killed, he said. The eight other people who died were “between the ages of 14 and 18”.

A spokeswoman for the US coalition, Lt Rumi Nielson-Green told the AFP news agency that the force was also investigating the incident and regretted any loss of civilian life. “We never target non-combatants. We do go to great length to avoid civilian casualties,” she said.

At the time the US said that those killed were militants involved in previous mortar attacks on a Nato base.

The incident happened in the remote district of Deh Bala, close to the Afghan border.

Mirwais Yasini, deputy speaker for the lower house of parliament, also has his constituency in Nangarhar. ”We are very sad about the killings in Deh Bala. People should be compensated,” he told the BBC.

“These operations widen the gap between the people and the government.”

He said that those who passed on intelligence to the US military ahead of the air strike should be tried, “as well as those who carried out the bombing”.

Mr Yasini demanded that “all operations should be conducted in full co-operation with our security forces in the future”.

Continued . . .

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