لینک های دسترسی

U-S Rights Group: Hundreds of Afghan Civilians killed so Far in U-S Airstrikes - 2002-07-21


A U-S-based human rights group says U-S air strikes in Afghanistan aimed at al-Qaida and Taleban fighters have mistakenly killed more than 800 civilians since last October.

The group Global Exchange says the death count comes from six months of surveys in Afghan towns and villages.

However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai disputes the group's figure. Speaking Sunday with the B-B-C, a spokesman for Mr. Karzai said the strikes have killed fewer than 500 civilians -- and that that number is low given the size of the U-S-led military campaign.

The spokesman (Tayeb Jawad) said the United States and Afghanistan are fighting the same war on terrorism. But he said the United States must strive to reduce the number of civilian casualties if it wants to keep Afghan civilians on its side.

The New York Times (newspaper) quotes Global Exchange workers as attributing the deaths to U-S reliance on incomplete or misleading information when launching airstrikes.

The paper also quotes Afghans who say warlords sometimes provide the Americans with false or misleading information to provoke an attack on an enemy town or village.

Neither the Pentagon nor the White House has commented publicly on the report that appeared in Sunday's edition of the Times. But U-S Army General Tommy Franks earlier this year called the U-S-led war on terrorism the most accurate military campaign ever undertaken by the United States.

The Times report comes three weeks after U-S airstrikes on villages in Uruzgan province that left nearly 50 civilians dead. More than 20 of the victims were reported celebrating at a wedding with traditional gunfire when U-S warplanes mistook the celebration for enemy gunfire.

U-S officials have acknowledged that civilians died in the attack, and the Pentagon is conducting a probe to determine details of the tragedy.

XS
SM
MD
LG