Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Hopefully, someone will leak the logs about this incident in the next year or so.
Survivors of an alleged Nato rocket attack on a small town in Helmand, which the Afghan government says killed 52 civilians, spoke today of their anger at what they claim was a deliberate air strike, despite coalition denials.
The incident is alleged to have taken place last Friday in Regey, in the volatile Sangin district of Helmand. News of it came as a deluge of leaked US army documents about previously unreported civilian killings threatens to ruin Nato's attempts to persuade Afghans that it takes innocent deaths seriously.
Many residents of the town say they believe the strike, which they say was a missile attack on a mud house where people were hiding from nearby fighting, was deliberate. The foreign forces could see us, said Haji Abdul Ghafar, a 38-year-old farmer who had fled to Regey from a nearby village. We were not in any hideouts. The Americans can see tiny things on the ground, but they could not see us. I think they bombed us on purpose.
Ghafar said at first he had not known whether shooting was coming from tanks or from aircraft. But people a bit far from us said that the foreign troops' tank fired a cruise missile. It hit the house and destroyed the front of the house and the left wall.
He was speaking to the Guardian at the Mirwais hospital in Kandahar city, where he went with his son, Agha Shereen, who suffered a broken leg and nose, and a seven-year-old nephew, Abdul Jabar.
Abdul was still suffering from severe shock, appearing to believe he was still at home and looking for his sandals to go out and play with other children. In total, Ghafar said, 17 members of his extended family were killed, including three sisters, three daughters and one son.