In memory of
Musa Khan’s 4 brothers, 3 sisters, 2 cousins, and 3 aunts
Haji Khyal Khan’s 11-yr-old son and 4 other family members
Maulvi Mian Jan, a village elder
Mazali’s 7 relatives
died between 9 P.M. and 4 A.M. in the night of December 20/21, 2001
in the village of Asmani Kilai in southern Paktia. Ten minutes after U.S war planes had hit a convoy of vehicles carrying tribal leaders on their way to Kabul (and killing many, including Maulvi Mian Jan), they struck Musa Khan’s house on a hill where relatives had gathered. The U.S aerial assault killed 12 relatives of Musa Khan, 22. Her was tending his sheep and goats when the U.S attack started. He watched helplessly from a distance. Haji Gul and his 11-yr old son were in the convoy. Mr. Gul who was injured later described the scene: vehicles burned to a crisp, those who ran from the scene fleeing to a nearby village were pursued by aerial gunships. His son was killed in the U.S. assault. Mr Gul recalled, “ he (my son) was very wise,” always asking me “why don’t we live in Kabul,” believing the village was no place for him to acquire an education. He dreamed of becoming an airline pilot and speaking English. Haji Khyal Khan, who lost 5 family members, said, “why is this tyranny happening to us?” Charred trees snapped like toothpicks, a burnt car sat idle. Shrapnel and remains of spent ordnance littered the ground. Four craters 20 feet deep marked a path about 30 feet long that tore through the family home down the hill. A Reuters photo may be seen at: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20011224/photos/pages/24photo05.htm Villagers said 15 cars, 10 homes and a mosque were obliterated. Musa Khan added, “we are just poor people,” as he looked at his home reduced to a 20-foot crater. A full analysis of this bombing raid can be read in my essay at http://www.cursor.org/stories/ontarget.htm.
A U.S B-52 and two B1-Bs flying out of Diego Garcia