Posted by: Lister | September 8, 2008

Nawabad

The Americans had said, after an inquiry, that only 5 civilians died at Nawabad. CSM:

According to The Washington Post, the Pentagon’s investigation concluded that last Thursday’s airstrike on an Afghan village killed five civilians and 25 Taliban militants, including a commander.

[…] The Pentagon’s findings stand in sharp contrast to those of the United Nations issued Tuesday. Kai Eide, special representative of the secretary-general for Afghanistan, said that the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) “found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men. 15 other villagers were wounded or otherwise injured.”

The Times has had access to video evidence which backs up the claims of Afghan civilians:

Last night the Pentagon announced that it was reopening the investigation in the light of “emerging evidence” and was sending an officer to Nawabad to review its previous inquiry. Villagers and the UN insist that 92 were killed, including as many as 60 children. Locals say that the US and Afghan troops who came into the village looking for a Taleban commander, with US air support, used excessive force.

[…] In the video scores of bodies are seen laid out in a building that villagers say is used as a mosque; the people were killed apparently during a combined operation by US special forces and Afghan army commandos in western Afghanistan. The film was shot on a mobile phone by an Afghan doctor who arrived the next morning.

Local people say that US forces bombed preparations for a memorial ceremony for a tribal leader. Residential compounds were levelled by US attack helicopters, armed drones and a cannon-armed C130 Spectre gunship.

However, US commanders and Pentagon officials have said repeatedly that seven civilians died alongside 35 Taleban militants during a legitimate combat operation, the target of which was a meeting of Taleban leaders.

The villagers’ accounts have been supported by separate investigations conducted by the UN, by Afghanistan’s leading human rights organisation and by an Afghan government delegation. Two Afghan army officers involved in the operation have been dismissed.

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Responses

  1. The US now says that 30 Civilians died. That is a lot less than the UN and Afghan figures for the death-toll.


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