In memory of

 

Abdul Ghani, 22/23

Babo, 45, a mother of Abdul Ghani

Sami Ullah’s wife, 20

Abdul Rahim, 25, brother of Faizal Rahim

Ramin Ullah, 3

Noorjan, 5

Gulpia, 4

Amin Ullah, 8

Mohib Ullah, 6

Harif Ullah, 3

Nasi Ullah, 8

Nabi Ullah, 3

Ahmed Wali, 6

Bibi Aysha, 1

Shakir, a young boy,

Sherina, 11

Sherina’s sister, 14

Mohtarama Ghani,4

Fazi Ullah, 14

Muzlifa, 6

Ghazi Ullah, 7

Zarajan, 15

Jamila’s husband

died between 7 -10 PM on October 21, 2001

in the village of Thorai (Torai) on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan Province. U.S war planes attacked the Gar Mao Taliban facility and a local police station, but in the process obliterated two homes and a tractor-trailer filled with terrified, fleeing persons (17 children, 3 women, and the driver, Abdul Ghani, 22/23). Soon after 7 PM, the U.S bombs began falling upon Thorai. Abdul Maroof, a farmer, had just sat down to a dinner of naan bread and dhal (lentils) with his wife and daughters, a night like so many others at their quiet farm. The family heard a huge explosion, rushing outside to see a massive fireball rising from a cluster of homes 1.5 kms away where Maroof’s sister and relatives lived. Maroof’s wife pleaded he stay at home. The next morning, a neighbor told him that “some 20” villagers had been killed, including many of his relatives. Distraught neighbors were frantically digging through the rubble of 2 homes. Maroof recalls, “I saw the body of one of my brothers-in-law being pulled from the debris. The lower part of his body had been blown away. Some of the other bodies were unrecognizable. Their heads were missing and arms blown away.” The survivors included Maroof’s younger sister, Radi (Rhidi) Gul, 25, and her 1-yr-old son Hamid Ullah who was severely injured. Rescuers uncovered Radi’s two young sisters-in-law: Zarajan 15, and Khamno, 10, both cut up by flying U.S shrapnel. Zarajan died later in a Quetta hospital as doctors tried to remove shrapnel embedded in her chest. Fazal (Faisal) Rabi (Rahim), 30, had run to where the U.S bombs had dropped to look for his older brother and family, buried in the rubble. As he and others dug through the rubble, a U.S war plane reappeared and dropped another bomb. Faisal escaped with only a leg injury but his brother, Abdul, 25, and nephew, Amin, 5 were killed. A 16-year-old girl, Gulfari, related how she was splattered with the blood and body parts of her relatives: “when I put my hand up I felt blood. It was like meat and I threw it away.” Another group of villagers had decided to flee by tractor and hitched a metal trailer to it. Qudrat Ullah, 22, and Fazal Rabi loaded up the tractor-trailer with their women and children. Abdul Ghani, 22, took the wheel. The tractor had barely moved when another U.S warplane dropped a projectile on the front part of the vehicle. It was the children sitting in the front end who bore the brunt of the U.S “precision” attack. Jamila, 21, sister-in-law of Qudrat Ullah, survived because she was sitting in the back, but her 3 children were killed (Ghazi, Muzlifa and Waheed). Jamila’s husband died later from his wounds at the Mir Wais Hospital in Kandahar. Salam Jan, who lived near the tractor bombing, raced outside along with Fazal Rabi. “The first thing I saw was the feet of a child on the road and then I saw them laying on the trailer…..some unconscious and children were crying. I found my wife on the trailer and carried her here and I found my sons dead on the trailer,” said Fazal. Terrified the two men carried the wounded to Jan’s guest room. The Ullah family was taken to a neighbor’s home. Barely 30 minutes after the first attack, U.S bombs hit the Jan house, killing everyone in the guest house, flinging bodies yards away or burying them in rubble. In the morning after, survivors said they found 2 women flung into a stream below the Jan home. The survivors collected body parts and buried them up on top of a nearby hill. Silk flags and ribbons flutter above the graves. Jamila was treated in Quetta. She ended the conversation with journalists saying, “I don’t want to say anything more. I just want to ask Americans what they have achieved after killing my innocent children and other family members…” The U.S attacks killed 22 civilians – 4 adults and 18 children. Lt. Col. Jim Yonts uttered vintage Pentagon-Speak when asked about the bombing incident: “we verified the target and on the night of the 21st, we dropped some precision-guided munitions on the target and destroyed that target. All the munitions were accounted for – on the target.”

A U.S. “precision” air attack upon alleged Taliban targets in Tarin Kot

 

 Of 12 family members only Naqibullah, a farmer survived, with serious shrapnel wounds (photo by Kike Arnal, NYT 7/21/02: A10) Hamid Ullah lies in a Quetta Hospital, severely injured by U.S. shrapnel.