In Sympathy for


Hekmatullah, 22, injured

during the night of October 24, 2001



One night, October 24th, Hekmatullah, 22, was sleeping in his courtyard in Kandahar. The American bombs struck an ammunition dump 200 yards from his residence. The ammo dump erupted like a volcano, spewing rockets and bullets everywhere. Hekmatullah's house cracked apart like an egg, as did his body. A bullet shattered his leg and another lodged itself inches from his spine.  His brother, Abdul Halim, rushed him to Mir Wais hospital, but there were dozens of wounded and the doctors had fled during the heavy night time bombing.  Hekmatullah was then driven one day over pitted roads to the hospital in Helmand province, but there were no doctors there, nor any painkillers. Another six days passed before his brother could find a car to head for Chaman, 150 miles away, ultimately landing up in the civic hospital in Quetta.

Source:  photo by Jerome Delay, A.P. at


The U.S. reporter, Tim McGirk, met Abdul Halim in that hospital in early November.  McGirk wrote,


"…all the beds around Hekmatullah were filled with Afghans injured from the bombing. Not one of them was a Taliban."[1]


Abdul Halim was beside Hekmatullah, gently massaging his brother's hand. McGirk reports that Hekmatuallah with his beard, his gaunt ascetic pallor, looked like drawn from a deathbed scene of El Greco. In disbelief, Abdul Halim cried,


"Why has this happened to me brother?"


Hekmatullah's house had cracked apart like an egg.



Injured by exploding ammunition from a dump bombed by U.S. war planes


[1] Tim McGirk, "Ordinary Afghans Hurt by the War," [November 1, 2001] at,9565,182445,00.html  

ultimately landing up in the civic hospital in Quetta.