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Zee News, May 9, 2007

21 civilians killed in air strike in southern Afghanistan

A resident of the area, Mohammad Asif, said five homes in the village of Soro were bombed during the battle, killing 38 people and wounding more than 20

Bureau Report

People protest for civilain deaths
Her father, mother and sister were killed

RAWA: This 9-year-old girl told journalists that her father, mother and sisters were killed by the US troops in Nangahar province on April 29, 2007

Kandahar: Air strikes called in by US special forces’ soldiers fighting with insurgents in southern Afghanistan killed at least 21 civilians, officials said today. One coalition soldier was also killed.

Helmand provincial governor Assadullah Wafa said Taliban fighters sought shelter in villagers' homes during the fighting in the Sangin district yesterday evening, and that subsequent air strikes killed 21 civilians, including several women and children.

The US-led coalition said militants fired guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at US special forces and Afghan soldiers on patrol 25 kilometers north of Sangin.

Maj. William Mitchell, a spokesman for Tlition, said troops killed a "significant" number of militants.

"We don't have any report of civilian casualties. There are enemy casualties, I think the number is significant," Mitchell said without releasing an exact figure.

A resident of the area, Mohammad Asif, said five homes in the village of Soro were bombed during the battle, killing 38 people and wounding more than 20. He said western troops and Afghan forces had blocked people from entering the area.

A senior military commander in Afghanistan has apologized for the conduct of US Marines who fired on civilians near Jalalabad, killing 19 people. The U.S. has made condolence payments of $2,000 per family.
AHN, May 8, 2007

The death toll in remote battle sites in Afghanistan are impossible to verify. Taliban fighters often seek shelter in Afghan homes, leading to civilian casualties, and it is often difficult to determine if people killed in such air strikes were militants or civilians.

The battle left one coalition soldier dead, the US military said. The military did not release the soldier's nationality, but it was likely an American Special Forces soldier.

Category: US-NATO, HR Violations - Views: 8992


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