In memory of

  

The Shinwar Massacre:

19 civilians killed (including an infant and 3 elderly men), including:

Tira Gul’s wife

An 80-yr-old grandfather

Hajji Lewani’s father and 2 relatives

34-50 others wounded

 

killed and injured on March 4, 2007

 

on a road in Barykab (Barayekab), Nangarhar Province, 50 kms east of Jalalabad city. A convoy of U.S. Marines Special Operations Company occupation troops was struck by an explosion and small arms fire, injuring one American occupation soldier. The U.S. soldiers sped away at high speed, firing indiscriminately along the way. They left a river of blood behind, including 19 persons killed and over 30 wounded. Tur Gul, 38, who was standing on the roadside by a gas station was shot in his right hand, said “they were firing everywhere, and they even opened fire on 14 to 15 vehicles passing on the highway…they opened fire on everybody, the ones inside the vehicles and the ones on foot.” Men, women and at least two boys were slaughtered by the U.S. Marine Special Operations troops. At a Jalalabad hospital, 15-year-old Mohammad Ishaq who was hit by two bullets in his right ear and left arm, said “[as the convoy approached]…we parked our vehicle, when they passed us, they opened fire on our vehicle. It was a convoy of three American Humvees. All three Humvees were firing around.” Ahmed Najib, 23, lay in the next bed with a bullet in his right shoulder, commented: “one American was in the first vehicle, shouting to stop on the side of the road, and we stopped. The first vehicle did not fire on us, but the second opened fire on our car…I saw them turning and firing in this direction, then turning and firing in that direction. I even saw a farmer shot by the Americans.” Najib said his 2-year-old brother was grazed by a bullet on his cheek. The dead included an 80-yr-old man, whose grandson said, “A bomb exploded, my grandfather sat in a car at that time. American soldiers were shooting into my grandfather’s car.” Tira Gul, 25, pictured below following his grandfather, lost his wife, killed by the U.S. Marines:

  

The photo (by Aaron Huey, Atlaspress) shows Gharaghashta, left, and his son Tira Gul whose wife was killed by the U.S. Marines.

 

Another man told the Al Jazeera news agency that five members of his family had been killed in the shooting. “American bullets murdered my family,” he said. “It’s tyranny and injustice.”

Photographers at the scene had their films confiscated by U.S. occupation soldiers. Rahmat Gul said he took photos of a 4-wheel drive vehicle in which three Afghans had been shot to death inside. An American soldier took Gul’s camera and destroyed the film. U.S. forces trying to cover up the massacre tried to seize all photos and footage taken.  The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission reported on April 14th that

 

In the aftermaths of the attack several journalists were hindered from accessing the site and some were expressly threatened and forced to delete all pictures and videos they had taken. This obstructed the ability of the media to seek, receive and impart information about the incident and so constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

 

Twenty-three injured patients streamed into a clinic in Shinwar, all victims of the U.S. shooting. The clinic staff was completely overwhelmed dealing with so many trauma victims. One patient was shot through his neck; another had a bullet hole in his jaw, etc. A girl victim – a “terrorist”? – is pictured below.

 

A day later, hundreds of angry demonstrators blocked the main road, shouting

 “Death to America! Death to Karzai!”

 The incident was seen and filmed by independent (not “embedded) reporters and could hence not be covered-up. The U.S. military subsequently determined the Marines had used excessive force in the incident and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission accused the Marines of violating international humanitarian law. No perpetrators were punished. Afghan lives are cheap, their bodies unworthy.

In May, a senior U.S. military commander issued a formal apology to the families of 19 civilians who died in the March 4th incident in Batikot, in Nangahar province.

Bodies of civilians massacred by U.S. Marines

Killed by U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Company troops (from Camp Lejeune, N.C.) riding in 3 Humvees