Reuters, June 18, 2007


US air strike kills 7 Afghan children

Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 17 months.

By Sayed Salahuddin

KABUL - A US-led coalition air strike killed at least seven children at a religious school in Afghanistan, hours after one of the deadliest suicide bombings since the Taliban were toppled from power in 2001.

People protest for civilain deaths
Her father, mother and sister were killed ( http://www.rawa.org/s-photos.htm )
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

Violence has surged in Afghanistan after the traditional winter lull, with foreign forces launching attacks against Taliban strongholds in the south and east and the guerrillas hitting back with a string of suicide strikes.

The coalition air strike, launched late on Sunday in the province of Paktika near the border with Pakistan, comes amid rising anger over civilian deaths from foreign military operations.

The coalition said on Monday it was part of an operation aimed at a compound containing a mosque and a madrasa thought to have been used as a safehouse by al Qaeda fighters.

Early reports said seven children and several militants had been killed, while the mosque sustained minor damage, it said in a statement.

Al Qaeda is fighting alongside the Taliban to overthrow Afghanistan's Western-backed government and drive out foreign troops. U.S.-led forces removed the Taliban from power in 2001 for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Hours before the air strike, a Taliban suicide bomber blew up a police bus during the morning rush hour in the heart of Kabul, killing 24 people.

SPATE OF SUICIDE ATTACKS

It was the fifth suicide attack in three days in the country, suggesting an escalation in use of the tactic.

In a separate incident on Sunday, three coalition soldiers and their Afghan interpreter were killed when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle near the southern city of Kandahar.

More than 120 civilians have been killed by foreign troops in Afghanistan in recent months, according to the Afghan government and residents.

Air strikes called in by US special forces’ soldiers fighting with insurgents in southern Afghanistan killed at least 21 civilians, officials said today
Zee News, May 9, 2007

The deaths have sparked street protests calling for President Hamid Karzai's resignation and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. U.S. forces make up the bulk of the more than 50,000 foreign troops operating in the country.

Civilian casualties are a sensitive issue for Karzai and the foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military.

Faced with resurgent Taliban attacks, growing frustration over corruption and lack of economic development, Karzai has warned that civilian deaths would have dangerous consequences for his government and the troops.

Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 17 months. Some 1,500 of them have been civilians.

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