In memory of

 

Mira Jan, 14

Lal Muhammad, 35

Mohibullah, 13

Sher Muhammad

Another farmer

Abducted 32 persons

 

died at around 11:30 P.M. on May 12, 2002

 

in the farming hamlet of Char Chine (Charcheno), Uruzgan Province. Mira Jan, 14, still too young to grow a beard, was shot in the stomach and killed while sleeping by U.S Special Forces. Four other migrant wheat farmers were also killed. U.S Special Forces raided the village at night. Helicopters fired rockets and strafed houses and fields. Soldiers and dogs erupted from the helicopters, throwing smoke and stun grenades. The soldiers broke down doors, rounded up and abducted the men.

Carlotta Gall of the New York Times described the 11:30 P.M. U.S special forces air and ground assault upon the small wheat farming village of Char Chine in remote Uruzgan, which killed 5 farmers on May 12th. At least one airplane and up to a dozen helicopters began the raid, firing as they swooped down in the village. Helicopters landed in the fields, and soldiers and dogs emerged. Some farmers were sleeping in the fields.

 

"A circle of trampled wheat stalks and dark bloodstains marked the place where the three villagers died, one of them a 13-year old boy - gunned down in an American air attack as they hid in the wheat fields, relatives and neighbors here said. …Villagers said they fled their homes in the dark as planes and helicopters strafed the houses and fields, fired rockets and then landed dozens of soldiers to search the houses…."they were hiding when they were hit, they were crouching down," said Saleh Muhammad, who found his brother, Lal, 35, his brother's son, Mohibullah, 13, and a neighbor, Sher Muhammad, two days later lying in the wheat field. ……..another teenager was among those killed. The boy, Mira Jan, a farmhand was 14 or 15, too young to grow a beard. He was shot through the stomach while sleeping outside in the muddy front yard of the farmhouse where he worked……..Muhammad Jan, 35, ran out of his house but no one saw how he died. His brother Pir Muhammad was harvesting his poppies the next morning when neighbors called him. They had found his brother in the field. 'I only saw his face,' the brother said. 'There was a big hole between his eyes. You could put three fingers in the hole'."

 

The dead, injured and abducted were farmers and workers who had come to help with the harvest. The ostensible U.S target was the house of Sayed Abdul Rahman Aga, the chief Muslim cleric in the area. Char Chine is also the home of Mullah Dadullah.

 

Carlotta Gall notes that the raid upon Char Chine is the third in the area - close to Mullah Barader's home in Deh Rawud - and these

 

"have only killed local people and have failed to net significant Taliban or Qaeda members."

 

A month and a half later, the fourth raid on the Deh Rawud area would occur: the wedding massacre at Kakarak which killed 60 - 80 civilians.

 

 

Helicopter-borne U.S Special Forces based in Kandahar