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25 Afghan “Civilians” Killed! Plus 20 Terrorists

From an outraged Associated Press:

25 civilians killed in Afghan violence

By AMIR SHAH, Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan – Taliban militants attacked police posts in southern Afghanistan, triggering NATO airstrikes that left 25 civilians dead, including three infants and the local mullah, a senior police officer said Friday.

NATO said its overnight bombardment killed most of a group of 30 insurgents and blamed them for the deaths of any innocents, saying they had launched “irresponsible” attacks from civilian homes.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the mounting civilian toll from NATO and U.S.-led military operations as “difficult for us to accept or understand.”

The police posts came under fire late Thursday in Gereshk district of Helmand province, Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, provincial police chief, told The Associated Press.

NATO responded by calling in airstrikes, which killed 20 suspected militants, but also 25 civilians, including nine women, three babies and the mullah at the local mosque, Andiwal said.

Taliban used at least two civilian compounds for cover during the clashes, which lasted into early Friday, Andiwal said.

NATO was targeting the areas where the fire was coming from … and two compounds were completely destroyed, and the families living in those compounds were killed,” he said.

Villagers loaded the victims’ bodies onto tractor trailers to take them to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, to prove they were innocent victims, but police stopped them, Andiwal said.

NATO said the aircraft struck after insurgents attacked troops from its International Security Assistance Force nine miles northeast of Gereshk town.

“A compound was assessed to have been occupied by up to 30 insurgent fighters, most of whom were killed in the engagement,” an alliance statement said.

Lt. Col. Mike Smith, a NATO spokesman, expressed concern about the reports of civilian deaths, but claimed that as insurgents had chosen the time and location for the attack, “the risk to civilians was probably deliberate.”

“It is this irresponsible action that may have led to casualties,” he said.

If confirmed, the casualties in Gereshk would bring the number of civilians killed in NATO or U.S.-led military operations this year to 177, according to an AP tally of figures provided by Afghan officials and witness report.

Some 169 civilians were killed in militant attacks this year, which have included a spate of suicide bombings

How can you tell who is a civilian? Especially when no one wears uniforms? When they are in a compound along with others who are firing upon you?

But note how the AP’s figures make it out that eighth more civilians have been killed by the US than by the terrorists.

Just like how this attack happened to kill five more civilians than terrorists.

Does anyone (apart from Cindy Sheehan) believe them?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 22nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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