US Raid in Afghanistan Kills Civilians - How Come First It was *NATO* Led Strikes?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

US Raid in Afghanistan Kills Civilians - How Come First It was *NATO* Led Strikes?
 


1 July 2007 at 1:41:24 PM
salon

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An Afghan boy cries after his two uncles were killed as his father is detained during a U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troop raid in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, June 29, 2007.

I've noticed that quite often when one reads an article about civilians who are killed in Afghanistan that the title says "NATO Forces" did it. But then, after a day or so, it comes out that it wasn't just the amorphous NATO, but the United States. Besides the fact that innocent civilians are killed, there needs to be an outcry about using airstrikes to kill people. A long time ago Don Rumsfeld said that airstrikes were *surgical*, implying that they were so precise as to only kill their intended targets. This is just NOT so. And it's WRONG. Think the Afghan people are happy about it? Nope.

 
The killings come a week after Hamid Kharzai, the Afghan president, criticised Nato and the US-led coalition, saying: "The extreme use of force, the disproportionate use of force, to a situation and the lack of co-ordination with the Afghan government is causing these casualties."
 
He condemned the forces for carelessness and viewing Afghan lives as "cheap". He also blamed the Taliban for using civilians as human shields.

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An Afghan cleric shouts 'Death to America and Hamid Karzai' following a raid by a U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday, June 29, 2007

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Ali Shah said: "The finding of our investigations about the civilian casualties in Gereshk district so far is that 65 civilians including women, children and men have been killed."
 
He said 35 Taliban were also killed.
 
Feda Mohammad, a villager, told the AFP news agency: "Six houses have been bombed, three of them have been reduced to rubble.
 "People are still busy bringing out the dead from under the rubble. There are funerals at various places."
 
Mohammad Khan, a resident of Hyderabad, said the air raids killed seven members of his family, including his brother and five of his brother's children.

Villagers were burying a "lot of dead bodies" on Saturday, he said by telephone
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Last year Taliban militants killed far more civilians than U.S. or NATO military actions, but the trend has reversed this year, in part through the aggressive use of Western air power.

In Iraq, the U.S., with 160,000 troops there, mounted 266 airstrikes in the first five months of 2007. The 50,000 international forces in Afghanistan used four times more — 1,032 airstrikes, according to the U.S. military.

A U.N. tally shows that of civilian deaths this year, 314 were caused by international or Afghan security forces, and 279 by insurgents. A similar AP count, though lower, shows the same trend: 213 killed by the U.S. or NATO and 180 by the Taliban.

Overall, the AP counts almost 2,800 people killed this year. The tally, based on Western and Afghan official data, puts the violence far ahead of last year, when about 4,000 died.


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