“Big number” of Afghan civilians killed by NATO

This video is called US troops kill civilians in Afghanistan, people protest.

From DPA news agency:

Afghan civilians killed in NATO airstrike aimed at Taliban

Posted : Tue, 05 May 2009 10:23:24 GMT

Kabul – Around 30 people including “a big number” of civilians and several Taliban militants were killed in a clash with international forces in western Afghanistan, a provincial governor said Tuesday. …

“Around 30 Taliban and civilians were killed by ground forces and airstrikes,” he said, adding that the total number of casualties remained unclear as some civilian homes were bombed and authorities had no precise information on how many civilians were killed in the raid. …

Civilian casualties during the anti-Taliban operation have become a delicate issue in Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai has pleaded several times with the NATO forces to avoid civilian deaths during their operations and has admitted that his repeated demands have strained his relations with some Western countries that have soldiers in the country.

A summit meeting in Washington between President Barack Obama and his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts, Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, has been overshadowed by the worst massacre of Afghan civilians since the US invaded the country in October 2001: here.

10 thoughts on ““Big number” of Afghan civilians killed by NATO

  1. Afghans allege dozens of civilian deaths in coalition bombing

    By Rahim Faiez And Jason Straziuso, The Associated Press

    KABUL – Afghan officials alleged Tuesday that dozens of civilians had died in bombing runs by U.S.-led coalition aircraft during fighting in a Taliban-controlled region of western Afghanistan.

    Two Afghan officials, one of whom said he was in the village and had seen many bodies, said children, women and elderly men had gathered in an Afghan home for safety after fighting broke out between militants and Afghan forces and U.S. coalition troops. The officials said aircraft later bombed the village in western Farah province, hitting one or more homes where civilians had gathered.

    The top U.S. spokesman in Afghanistan, Col. Greg Julian, confirmed coalition forces participated in the battle. Julian said several wounded Afghans sought medical treatment at a military base in Farah, but officials were still investigating the reports of civilian deaths.

    Provincial council member Belqis Roshan said dozens of Taliban gathered in Bala Baluk on Monday, and fighting broke out soon after.

    She said air strikes later hit civilian homes. She estimated the number of civilian deaths at between 70 and 83, based on information from villagers. Roshan said she told villagers to take photos and video of the destruction and bodies.

    Bala Baluk’s former top government official, Mohammad Nieem Qadderdan, who no longer holds a government position, said he visited the village of Gerani and saw dozens of bodies.

    “These houses that were full of children and women and elders were bombed by planes. It is very difficult to say how many were killed because nobody can count the number, it is too early,” he told The Associated Press by telephone. “People are digging through rubble with shovels and hands.”

    Qadderdan said there “are more than 100 civilians dead” and about 10 houses had been destroyed. He said the wounded Afghans had been severely burned. Qadderdan’s numbers were not immediately confirmed by any other official.

    Qadderdan said the civilian casualties were “worse than Azizabad,” a reference to an August 2008 strike in a district immediately to the north of Bala Baluk.

    An Afghan government commission found that an operation by American forces killed 90 civilians in Azizabad, a finding backed by the United Nations. The U.S. originally said no civilians died; a high-level investigation later concluded 33 civilians were killed.


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