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.But according to Abdul Nasir, a resident of the bombed village,
General Dan McNeill, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, [said] American forces called in the airstrike after being ambushed "by a far superior force."
"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.~~~
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