Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kunduz air strike killed 95 civilians....


Ninety-five people including dozens of civilians were killed and many others injured on Friday when NATO aircraft struck oil tankers hijacked by Taliban insurgents in Chahar Dara district of northern Kunduz province.
Kunduz Governor Eng. Mohammad Omar told Pajhwok Afghan News a Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Rahman, was among 45 insurgents killed in the incident that occurred in Haji Aman village of the restive district.
The International Security Assistance Force confirmed the air strike was carried out early this morning against a large number of insurgents after the Kunduz Operational Command Centre reported that two fuel trucks were stolen by insurgents.
Addressing a news conference, the provincial police chief said 65 guerrillas were killed in a huge explosion at the tanker after the NATO strike. The bombing came as militants and villagers emptied oil from the tanker into jerry canes.
Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq Yaqubi told journalists more than a dozen Taliban were wounded in the massive blast. He acknowledged ordinary residents were among the dead and injured. However, the police chief explained the exact civilian toll was yet to be ascertained.
In response to a query, Gen. Abdul Rehman said drivers of the tankers -- belonging to a private firm -- were beheaded. Residents of Panjsher and Ghorband (Parwan), their headless bodies have been handed over to their kin, according to the police chief.
In a statement on its website, the NATO-led force said a local ISAF commander allowed the air raid after observing the insurgent activity and assessing civilians were not in the area. "A large number of insurgents were reported killed or injured and the fuel trucks were destroyed in the attack."
However, the 42-nation force later received reports that civilians were killed and injured in the air strike and "in conjunction with Afghan officials is now conducting an investigation into the claims."
The governor said the Taliban fighters hijacked two oil tankers carrying aircraft fuel for NATO forces from the Kunduz-Baghlan Highway. The militants were distributing fuel for free when the raid took place.

But a security official, seeking anonymity, said the death toll was more than 200. He claimed warplanes struck the people who had gathered to receive free oil distributed by the hijackers. The official would not give further details.
A dweller of the village, Noorullah, said one of his relatives was killed and another injured in the bombardment. Without giving evidence, he claimed the bombardment left 400 dead and wounded. Most of the injured were badly burnt, he said.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the gubernatorial assertion as false. The rebels suffered no casualties in the raid, he insisted, suggesting the dead were ordinary residents.

Director of Kunduz Civil Hospital, Humayun Khamosh said 15 wounded people were brought to hospital. Some of those hospitalised were writhing in pain, their skin peeling off as a result of the burns.
Statement by the Deputy UN Special Representative, Peter Galbraith on Kunduz airstrike Kabul, 4 September 2009 - I am very concerned by the reports we have seen this morning of casualties among civilians from an air strike against stolen trucks in Aliabad district of Kunduz province.As an immediate priority, everything possible must be done to ensure that people wounded by this attack are being properly cared for, and that families of the deceased are getting all the help they need.Steps must also be taken to examine what happened and why an air strike was employed in circumstances where it was hard to determine with certainty that civilians were not present. UNAMA is sending a team to look into the situation.

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pierce79 said...

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pierce79 said...

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