Monday, January 19, 2009

Civilian toll

By way of more catching up, here is an update on civilian casualties, going back to November:

November 27: eighteen civilians killed in air raid

On November 27 an attack by some 200 insurgents on an Afghan army convoy in Badghis province resulted in at least a dozen dead ANA soldiers and nineteen stolen military vehicles. Most media, western and Afghan, relayed fears that the incident reveals that the Taliban have a strong presence in the area, once considered relatively safe. Nearly all reports mentioned nothing about civilian casualties. With the exception of the Afghan Islamic Press, however, no media reports cited comments by residents of the district.

Air raid kills 18 Afghan civilians in western district
Afghan Islamic Press (Peshawar)

HERAT, November 28 - At least 18 civilians were killed and several more wounded in an air strike last night by foreign forces in Bala Morghab District of western Badghis Province after Taleban attacked a convoy of Afghan security forces, residents said Friday (Nov 28).

"A bomb hit the house of 70-year-old Abdul Hamid, killing 10 people including six males and four women," an elder of the Akazo village told Afghan Islamic Press on phone.

He said Abdul Hamid was also among the dead.

"The house of Enzar Gul, near our house, was also bombarded in which eight family members of Enzar were martyred, another resident of the same village told Afghan Islamic Press.

He continued: "People of the village are still running here and there, there are no complete details of the dead but I believe that the death toll may be over 18." ... (link)
According to LexisNexis, Afghanistan's Ariana TV also reported the allegations on November 28.

December 6: Two civilians killed in NATO air strikes

Two killed in south Afghanistan fighting

KABUL, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Two civilians were killed and six wounded in an operation in southern Afghanistan on Saturday that included air strikes by NATO-led forces, military officials said.

The British military in the southern province of Helmand said the casualties were civilians... (link)
December 10: Six police and one civilian killed in US air strikes

On December 10, US forces killed six police and one civilian (and wounded 13) in an apparent case of mistaken identity. Al-Jazeera's reporter there adds more.

From BBC Monitoring:
Al-Jazeera reporter sees "no chance of mistake" in US bombing of Afghan police

[From Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel Television in Arabic:]

... "according to eyewitnesses, there was, initially, an exchange of fire between the Afghan police and NATO forces, but afterward an aerial bombardment was initiated on an Afghan police station in the city of Qalat in Zabol Province, killing six policemen and one civilian, in addition to wounding 11 Afghan policemen in that area. The coalition forces have not commented or issued any statement in this regard so far. However, it seems that there is no chance of a mistake here because the bombed area is very close to the capital of Zabol Province and there is unlikely to be any movement of Taleban members in that area."
December 25: Locals say 11 civilians killed in Kandahar air strikes

From BBC World Monitoring:
Afghan residents say civilians, not Taleban, killed in coalition operation

[Text of report by state-owned National Afghanistan TV on 26 December:]

[Presenter:] Coalition forces say they killed eleven Taleban fighters in a series of operations in Maywand District of Kandahar Province last night [25 Dec 08], but residents of Maywand District say their houses were bombarded and all those killed were innocent people...

The locals say some residents of the district put the dead bodies of a number of those killed on the Kandahar-Herat highway in protest and temporarily blocked the road to traffic.
January 7: NATO shell kills eleven civilians

Afghanistan: 11 Civilians Killed
New York Times

KABUL, Jan 7 - Eleven Afghan civilians were killed and nine wounded when an errant artillery shell hit a house during a firefight between Taliban militants and NATO forces in central Afghanistan, the Afghan government said Wednesday. The battle, which occurred Monday morning, unfolded in the village of Qalai-e-Now, near Tirin Kot, the capital of Oruzgan Province... (link)

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