In memory of and sympathy for

 

Child, 1 ˝ years old, killed

The injured mother

on March 22, 2007

in the hamlet of Babaji, 8 kms north of Lashkar Gah. Almost daily reports are made by the Italian journalist for Peace Reporter, Enrico Piovesana, about the civilian carnage in Helmand. None are picked up by any mainstream press. On March 22nd, Piovesana wrote that the Italian Emergency clinic in Lashkar Gah had received a dead child aged 1 ˝ and the injured mother, both victims of air raids. Another 20 injured civilians (aged 12-80) were admitted during the day; on the 23rd yet another ten injured in Babaji were taken in. Many did not survive despite immediate first aid care, four arrived dead, among them a one-year old child hit in the head by a bullet. The village of Zumbelay, 5 kms east of Gereshk, was heavily bombed too. A NATO bomb struck the home of Sadika, 22, five months pregnant, in Zumbelay seriously injuring the mother and her young son.The only “result” of the much-trumpeted “Operation Achille” begun on March 6, 2007 involving 5,700 NATO and Afghan forces in the Helmand region, was the supposed re-conquest of Sangin on April Fool’s Day 2007 after one full month of intense aerial bombing (the photo depicts Sangin after the “liberating” NATO bombs). But even that proved to be a mirage and a second operation, “Operation Silicon” was launched on April 30th, but the Taliban withdrew from the town of Sangin. The US/NATO bombing however continued terrorizing villagers, destroying homes and stores. NATO-led Afghan troops entered villages engaging in wholesale looting. Ahmad Nisar said, “I had a business. It was the only source of income for my family. The militaries entered and stole everything, going away with 20 thousand dollars.” Other villagers told similar stories. No doubt most of the “400 Taliban” reportedly killed during Operation Achille were women, elderly, children and other civilians; the stream of injured who made their way to Emergency’s hospital in Lashkar Gah are a solid testimony, far more credible than vague statements put forth by military propaganda experts in Bagram, Kabul or Kandahar.

US/NATO bombing of villages near Lashkar Gah and Gereshk