In Memory of

 

A man whose body was cut in half

At least fifteen other civilians killed

on October 19 and 20, 2001

  

in the Madad Chowk bazaar area of central Kandahar. Madad Chowk is the busiest intersection in Kandahar. On one side lies the building of the Ministry of Amr bil Maroof (Enjoining of Good). There are shops selling furniture, a Public Call Office and the post office. On the other side are a masjid, car repair shops and shops selling spare parts and furniture. Abdullah, 37, said he saw the U.S. bombs falling on Madad Chowk Saturday afternoon. By the time he got to the area, there were bodies and injured people everywhere. “I saw a man whose body was cut in two at his waist and a man with no legs.”

 

On Friday and Saturday, the U.S planes had returned to bomb the Vice & Virtue Ministry building, dropping three more bombs which leveled the building, but also caused carnage in downtown Kandahar, according to refugees who had fled to Chaman in Pakistan. On the 19th, the A.I.P reported seven civilians had been killed and 15 injured in the Friday attack alone. A young man interviewed in Chaman by a CNN correspondent, Amanda Kibel, said he had seen houses bombed that day [the 19th], people trapped under rubble, both dead and injured, and other people desperately trying to pull them out.[1]  The U.S bombs hit the Kepten central shopping bazaar and residences in the Madad area adjacent to the Ministry building, killing 'many' shoppers. Based upon various reports, I estimated the number to be at least 15.[2] 

 

Reuters cited Afghan refugees in Chaman, Pakistan who described the destroyed shopping bazaar, flattened residences.[3]  Abdul Wadood, 30, said the Madad shopping area was badly damaged by bombs that struck on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer. His two sons were outside the bazaar and they were both hit in the legs, thighs, and arms by flying metal splinters.[4] Sultana Bibi, 50, was in the bazaar with her two daughters when the U.S bomb struck. She experienced injuries to her head, nose and eyes, and remained mute in Mir Wais hospital.[5]  Mohammed Ghaus, who crossed into Pakistan with his wife and five children, stated that:

 

“On Thursday night around 10 p.m. and yesterday at 2 p.m. and again last night, there was heavy bombing. The bazaar around the Keptan intersection in the city center was flattened. My neighbor’s house was destroyed. That’s why we left.”

 

Mohammed Zaman, 45, said he saw people wounded in the legs and arms after Friday's attacks in the afternoon and at night in the center of town. He said several projectiles hit the bazaar. The "bombing was very heavy,'' he said. [6]

 

Mohammed Gul, a refugee from Kandahar, who worked for a military hospital, told the BBC Pashto service,

 

"Bombs were hitting peoples' houses. They damaged lots of houses and they injured and killed lots of innocent people. We were there and I saw about 50 people who died and some became injured. Everyone is looking to the sky and waiting and thinking when will the American aircraft come and start killing them."[7]

 

 The London Times' Stephen Ingram, there ten days after the U.S attack, wrote,

 

"…Up the street, normality gives way to devastation. A row of little shops has been flattened as though with a giant fist. A metal sign reading 'Hilal Pharmacy' pokes through the rubble. A few men pick through the ruins with bare hands. It is ten days, locals say, since a bomb landed on the row of shops early one afternoon out of a clear blue sky. Two men sitting in front of their shops were killed. No one seems quite able to agree on how many other casualties there were."[8]

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. war planes bomb a busy market area during the daytime


 

[1] On CNN Sunday Morning [October 21, 2001 - 10:24 E.T].

[2] John Fullerton, "Refugees Say US Planes Blitzed Bazaars," Reuters [Oct. 22, 2001];  but also BBC News Online [October 19, 2001], "US Planes Destroyed Kandahar Bazaars," Frontier Post [October 22, 2001], and France's daily l'Humanite [October 22, 2001].

[3] BBC News [October 19, 2001], Reuters [October 20, 2001], and Reuters, "Refugees Say U.S Planes Destroyed Kandahar Bazaars,” dated October 22, 2001. Also John Fullerton, "Refugees Say U.S Planes Destroyed Kandahar Bazaars," Reuters dated October 20, 2001and Mark Baker, "A Once Grand City [Kandahar] Reduced to Ruins," Sydney Morning Herald [October 25, 2001].

[4] "U.S Planes Destroyed Kandahar Bazaar," Frontier Post [October 22, 2001].

[5] Mentioned in Altaf Hussein, "In Kandahar, Life in the Cross-Hairs," Reuters [November 3, 2001].

[6] Frontier Post, op. cit.

[7] BBC News Online, op. cit.

[8] Stephen Ingram, "A Tale of Two Cities in Taleban Capital," Times [November 1, 2001].