Saturday, July 26, 2008

Airstrike kills more civilians

Once again, locals report that foreign occupation forces killed civilians in an airstrike, while military spokespeople claim otherwise:

Couple killed in Kapisa airstrike

MAHMUDRAQI, Kapisa, July 26 (Pajhwok) - A couple was reportedly killed during NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) airstrike in Kapisa province just north of the capital Kabul.

Malik Haji Gul Agha a resident of Landakhel village of Tagab district of the province told Pajhwok Afghan News the incident occurred in Kharoti area of Landakhel district. Janat Gul and his wife martyred in the foreign forces air raid, he added.

Abdul Hakim Akhundzada confirmed the death of two civilians saying the area was still surrounded by the NATO forces. Enayatullah Kochi a member of the provincial council also confirmed the death of locals and called on the foreign forces to stop killing civilians.

A NATO statement released from Bagram however said NATO forces bombed the area after they were targeted from their area. The statement added the assailants had been killed in the airstrike... (link)
Recall that earlier this month, a US airstrike killed perhaps 52 civilians - nearly all women and children. In that case, the women were preparing for a wedding and undoubtedly they were all wearing long, colourful, flowing, bejeweled garments. Yet the foreign military initially claimed those killed were insurgents. On top of that, the word is that NATO/US warplanes now only bomb when they are quite certain they are targeting bad guys.

It is hard to imagine anything looking less like a band of insurgents than dozens of sparkling gowns in bright colours. Thus, it seems likely that the supposedly new procedures are meant for public relations claims only.

A month of carnage:
June 30: UN says civilian deaths in Afghanistan up 62% since last year.
July 3: Six civilians killed in airstrike in Farah.
July 4: Seventeen civilians killed in Nuristan airstrike.
July 6: US airstrike in Nangarhar kills 52 civilians in wedding party - mostly women and children.
July 9: In Logar province, NATO troops kill a civilian man and injure his wife in a house raid.
July 9: Red Cross says 250 civilians dead in five days (i.e. July 4 - 8). The NGO blames both insurgents and NATO/US forces and their Afghan allies.
Jul 15: NATO airstrike kills eight (perhaps nine) civilians - mostly women and children - in Farah.
July 16: Local officials say over 50 civilians killed by NATO airstrikes in Herat.
July 19: NATO forces kill four (perhaps seven) civilians with mortars in Paktika.
July 20: Airstrike kills nine Afghan police. Other reports say it was four police and five civilians.
July 26: British NATO troops in Helmand shoot and kill four civilians at checkpoint.
July 26: NATO troops kill civilian couple in their house in Kapisa.
July 29: An ISAF helicopter kills six civilians in Kunar province, according to local officials.

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