In memory of

8 un-named civilian manual laborers

killed in fighting on Friday/Saturday, March 24/25, 2006

in or around the village of Khwaja Ali, Sangin (Sangeen) district of Helmand Province close to the border with Uruzgan Province. A group of some 20 Taliban attacked a police convoy. Fighting ensued with U.S and ANA troops being called in from Lashkar Gah as well as tactical air support from Apache helicopter gunships. The Taliban escaped, but U.S. and ANA forces attacked the village, killing eight persons, who were immediately labeled as Taliban. Upon closer investigation and notwithstanding that as usual the U.S. and ANA forces sealed-off the area (to cover up all evidence) the dead were revealed to be poor laborers from Zabul who had come to the area in search of manual jobs, according to interviews with residents by the independent Pajhwok Afghan News. The local Afghan authorities in Helmand of course continue insisting the dead were Taliban and the mainstream corporate press is obsessed with the fate of a Christian covert in Kabul (illustrating the differential value placed upon lives).

U.S. and Afghan military forces in a ground and air assault