In memory of

 

Many civilians killed

during December 23-26, 2007

 

in Dosang and Doab, district of Char Chino, in central Uruzgan Province where U.S., Dutch and Afghan forces launched a large clearing operation. The U.S. propaganda machine in Kabul said “…early this week so far 150 rebels have been killed.” The Taliban according to the Afghan Islamic Press reported 50 civilians being killed. In August 2007, Iqbal Khattak of Pakistan’s Daily Times reported that Taliban training camps had been established in the districts of Char Chino, Gayzab and Chora in Uruzgan. As documented in The Afghan Victim Memorial Project, US/NATO raids have been frequent and very deadly for Afghan civilians in these districts. Dutch and Australian occupation forces have been very active in so-called clearing operations. The Dutch also employ heavy artillery (German-built Panzerhaubitze 155mm self-propelled howitzers) capable of hitting targets 40 kms away like Chora from the Dutch main base, Camp Holland, in Tirin Kot. The Dutch also employ Apache helicopter gunships and six F-16s based in Kandahar. Dutch military actions have led to many civilian casualties. On December 19th, an important article appeared in The Netherlands with the title, “Afghanistan is becoming the Netherlands’ Vietnam,” which argued that the shortage of ground troops led the US/NATO forces to rely upon air power which, in turn, causes massive civilian casualties. The independent Dutch journalist, Arnold Karstens, reported that 300 Afghan civilians had been killed by NATO actions, five times as many civilians as Taliban fighters!

The physical isolation of districts like Gayzab and Char Chino make it easier for the U.S. and NATO to control information. Few independent persons dare venture off in such regions. The large clearing operation launched in the Char Chino district around December 23rd, no doubt with much close air support, will have certainly caused many civilian deaths which we will only find out about in the months to come. After all, it took months for the details about the “Battle of Chora”, June 16-20, 2007, to be revealed (in a report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission). That battle resulted in the deaths of 30-88 civilians and the wounding of another 80-100 (details at http://www.rnw.nl/ppp/AIHRCChora.pdf ).

 

Killed by US, Dutch and Afghan troops