Friday, May 11, 2007

Afghan Civilian Death Toll Much Higher Than Previously Reported

The official count of unarmed noncombatants killed by American airstrikes in Afghanistan on Tuesday is much higher than originally reported, according to Carlotta Gall in today's International Herald Tribune:

Afghans say civilian toll in strikes is much higher than reported
The toll of civilians killed in bombing by coalition forces on Tuesday night was much higher than the official figure of 21, and may be as high as 50 or even 80, residents reached by telephone said Thursday.
Unsurprisingly, accounts differ on both the events leading up to the airstrikes and the results of the attacks.
The United States military [...] said that it had called in the airstrikes on Taliban insurgents after a heavy 16-hour battle and destroyed three militant compounds.

General Dan McNeill, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, [said] American forces called in the airstrike after being ambushed "by a far superior force."
But according to Abdul Nasir, a resident of the bombed village,
"It was around 4 p.m. when the foreign vehicles came through on the main road," he said. "The Taliban shot at them and they turned back. Then airplanes came and bombed the village at 10 p.m.," he said. The Taliban were in the village during the day but left later and were not in the village at the time of the bombing, he said.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied that any of their members were killed, and confirmed that they had left the village before the bombing.
In an earlier telephone text message, he had warned, "We deeply mourn the death of civilians and soon we will take revenge for them."
It sure sounds like we're making a lot of progress in Afghanistan ... whatever that means.

"Floridiot" was right:
This gets more despicable every day.

[related posts]

March 6:
No Photos, Please: Marines Gun Down Civilians In Afghanistan

March 11:
How The US Military Protects The American Public From Seeing Details That Are Not As They Originally Were, And Brings Freedom To Afghanistan

April 16:
Big Surprise: US Troops Used 'Excessive Force' In Firing On Unarmed Civilians In Afghanistan ...

May 5:
Mercy And Dignity For Unarmed Noncombatants? You Must Be Joking!

May 7
Liberation Of Afghanistan Continues Apace: Independent Media Are Next

May 10
Americans Pay Compensation For Killing Innocent Afghanis; Afghani Parliament Wants Foreign Troops Out!