In memory of
The parents of Rahmed Bibi, 3
died in the early morning of October 11, 2001
in the poor farming village of Karam. U.S fighter-bombers dropped 12 bombs, flattening the village and killing dozens of civilians. The Pentagon claimed that Karam had been a training ground for bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda. In fact, the site had solely been used to train mujahideen fighters during the CIA-funded and supported anti-Soviet campaign of the 1980’s. The camp was then run by Sadiq Bacha to train members of the Hezb-i-Islami faction. The base was never used by Al-Qaeda and was closed and abandoned in 1992, long before bin Laden moved to Afghanistan. Since the 1990’s, Karam had been inhabited by poor families living in mud and rock homes, and by nomads during the winter.
Ian Williams (of The Times) reported from the Jalalabad general hospital, “…across the crowded ward three-year old Rahmed cries for his mother. Bandages over his head, arm and legs. Blood is oozing through. Two apples have been placed on his pillow but he has not touched them. Doctors tell us that both his parents are dead.” Williams described what he had earlier seen in Karam, “one man said that he was burying his wife bit by bit as he dug her out of the rubble. He put a severed leg into a plastic bag and dropped it into the hole that he had dug. The stench of rotten bodies was overwhelming in places. Dead cows and goats littered the hillside; as did chunks of metal, shrapnel from the bombs. Of around 60 stone houses more than half were completely destroyed.”
Images and text can be perused in the article by Wayne Francis and Mike Moore (filed in Jalalabad),” Victims of the Bombings,” The Mirror (October 15, 2001). The following photo shows villagers sifting through the rubble of Karam:
A U.S “precision” bombing attack by U.S Navy jets based on the carrier, USS Carl Vinson