In memory of and sympathy for

  

At least 17- 24 civilians killed including:

Jahanzan (45 yr old woman)’s 12 relatives

Abdullah’s 10 family members

Two victims who died in hospitals

Gullaba (age 10)’s family

during 3:30 AM – 1:30 PM on August 20, 2008 

in a US/NATO sustained bombing operation which hit the villages of Garoch, Mandaroro, Badpakh and Shagiliani in the mountainous region of the Kabul-Laghman border area. Residents and eyewitnesses interviewed by Wakht News Agency said over 24 civilians were killed in the air attacks. At least 20 other civilians were wounded and 210 homes destroyed. The Wakht report described the aerial assault:

Jahanzan, 45 years old female resident of Garoch, hospitalized at Mehtarlam Public Hospital for the treatment of her injuries told the Media Line, that she has lost 12 members of her family. She said, "They were asleep, when the intense bombardment started and hit their homes, as result they lost every thing." Further she says, only a member of her family, an old man Hajji Hussain, survived the attack. Gullaba, 10, who also sustained serious injures at her feet told Media Line "we were asleep, explosions started, and I lost all my family members at the raid." Abdullah, the local resident of Garoch told Media Line, that he had lost 10 of his family members, including 6 children, three women and an old man, belonging to his family. He added," until Wednesday evening, I buried 18 people, and may be the number of civilian losses will be more, due to the full destruction of 210 homes , at the air raid." His wife, mother in law, and two of his sister in law have been also died at the assault, further he said…… a different eye witness told that one person died on the way to hospital, and another one was dead, while he was under the treatment at the health care facility, by adding these two the total number of civilian losses raise to 24. According to local sources, the air raid started at 3:30 AM on August 20, and continued until 1:00 PM of that day. An elder Malik Hazrat Gul from the Garoch told the Media Line, that NATO raided a house belonging to Hajji Qadir, whose house holds with other villagers were preparing for a wedding party there. "Yet 18 civilian were buried and 33 others were transferred to the hospital in the city and different health centers located nearby", Malik said. At least 205 residencies are fully obliterated at the attack and around 300 cattle are killed. He added.  Three villages from the nine villages of Garoch are fully destroyed, and we don't have update information from those who escaped to mountains to survive their selves and save the family members from the attack. All houses in the villages were destroyed except the mosque, further added. However, Malik Hazrat told the Media Line, angrily that, all the national and  international media should come, and watch the massive graves of children, women and older peoples, who were cruelly killed, and show to the people, were they Taliban insurgents, or terrorists? Who have been killed brutally? He also criticized President Karzai and said, we ask him to come and see, whether these innocents are terrorists or Taliban, why he is silence in front of these injustices to the people, no one is going to hear our voices, he said. Naqibullah another elder of the village also confirmed the civilian casualties in the bombardment. Another elder Hajji Gulzar, who was accompanying 50 young volunteers, told Media Line, that we are working to provide blood donation for the 24 injured peoples, receiving treatment at Laghman Public Hospital.

Pajhwok Afghan News reported at least 17 civilians died, quoting an elder of Garoch, Hazrat Gul. Gul said a dozen victims were from the same family, including 6 women, 2 children, elders and youth. Asadullah Rauf, surgeon in Mehtarlam, said 20 people were wounded in the attacks: an elderly man, 4 children, 8 women, and 7 adult men.

On Friday night, a 25-yr-old woman injured in the air strikes succumbed to her injuries in the Laghman public hospital.

Predictably, the U.S. military said Wednesday’s operation (which also involved Afghan forces) had killed more than 30 “insurgents.” Military spokesmen claimed no knowledge on non-combatant deaths. For example, Abdul Wali, a spokesman at the NATO base in Laghman rejected claims of any civilian casualties. 

Killed and wounded in a 10-hour US aerial bombardment of a string of mountain villages