In memory of and sympathy for

 

 

Mawiz Khan’s 11 family members:

Bibi, 20

Sher Wali, 18

Bakhmala, 15

Malama, 10

Fatima, 8

Hassana, 6

Zahida, 5

Royana, 3

Ullah, 3

Noor Ali, 2

Sayed Rahman, 2

Seven other relatives, injured

 

 

killed and injured during the night of April 8/9, 2003

in a village in Paktika Province near the Pakistan border. U.S. occupation forces called-in close air support. Two U.S. Marine Harrier jets responded and dropped 1,000 lb laser-guided bombs on a house where troops said militants had fled. The jets bombed. Inside that house, twenty-four of Mawiz Khan’s relatives were sleeping. The roar of planes and the clatter of gunfire woke Mawiz Khan, who was sleeping in his tea shop a few miles away. The next morning, Mawiz returned home to find American soldiers pulling bodies from the rubble. According to a superb story (Chicago Tribune 5/29/03) by Vanessa Gezari, “…there was Bibi, 20, whose cooking made her family proud, and 18-year-old Sher Wali, who liked learning so much he watered the garden with a book in his hand. Bakhmala, 15, always helped her mother with the housework. The eight others were too young for anyone to know who they might have become: Malama, 10; Fatima, 8; Hassana, 6; Zahida, 5; Royana and Hazrat Ullah, both 3; and 2-year-olds Noor Ali and Sayed Rahman. Seven other relatives were hurt. Two cows and 18 sheep and goats were buried in the rubble. The house is ruined.” Some days later, the governor of Paktika visited the family and gave them 550,000 afghanis (about $11,000 or $1,000 per dead family member). In May 2003, Khan’s wife, Sawara, sat with sisters-in-law in a room that survived the deadly midnight U.S aerial assault and said, “they changed my life. Now, I’m like a beggar. I don’t know what the meaning of life is for me. They’ve killed all my children. I don’t have anything…I wish they would have come to the house first to search us. They didn’t search. They just bombed.”

A midnight bombing attack by U.S. Marine Harrier jets dropping a GBU-16 bomb