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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-13-03 08:39 PM
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US Must Explain Afghan Deaths


The US military should increase precautions and explain intelligence failures after 15 children were among civilians killed in two recent attacks in Afghanistan, a human rights group has said.

"The US military takes precautions to minimise civilian loss of life during its operations - but obviously not enough," said John Sifton, Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch on Saturday.

"There is now a pattern of mistakes, apparently as a result of faulty intelligence, that has led to too many civilian deaths and no clear changes in the way the United States plans and carries out military operations."

The American raids, which the US military said were aimed at "known terrorists", took place on 5 December and 6 December in Ghazni and Paktia provinces.

In the first, in a rural village near Gardez, six children and two adults died under a collapsed wall after a US air and ground attack on a compound used by a militant to store weapons.

The second, in a village in Ghazni province, A-10 "tankbuster" planes killed nine children, aged between nine and 12, and a young man. Both attacks failed to kill their intended targets.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-13-03 08:46 PM
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1. the way that the US operates has not changed
since this /

Afghan: U.S. bomb hits wedding party

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (CNN) -- At least 20 people were killed and more than 60 injured in Afghanistan when a U.S. plane dropped a bomb on a wedding party as celebrants fired into the air, an Afghan defense spokesman said Monday.

Dr. Gulbudin, the Afghan Defense Ministry's chief of staff, said the information came from Afghan defense officials in the central province of Uruzgan. He said the death toll was between 20 and 30.

The Pentagon did not confirm the number of casualties but did say a U.S. aircraft providing ground support to Special Forces dropped an "errant bomb" after coming under anti-aircraft fire. A joint investigation has been launched.

Many of the wounded from the bombing in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan were taken to a nearby hospital in Kandahar. Among the wounded were a 7-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl, both of whom were said to be the only surviving members of their families.


The US air attack in southern Afghanistan, which reports suggest has caused significant civilian loss of life, was initially explained by the Pentagon as having been due to an errant bomb.

Now that story has changed and cannon fire from an AC-130 has been blamed.

But the attack once again highlights the fact that US military operations in Afghanistan are continuing, even if they have tended to fade from the headlines.


The key questions here relate to the weapons used in this attack, the exact circumstances in which they were employed and, probably, the intelligence upon which the operation was conceived.


We are not winning the hearts and minds of anyone in either Afghanistan or Iraq - we are discounting the value of all life.

I fear we shall reap the whirlwind.
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