In memory of

Toor Jaan, a farmer’s 26 family members
Haji Kherullah’s 2 sons and a nephew

killed during week of September 18, 2006

in village of Sperwan on the western edge of the Panjwayi district, some 4 kms away from Panjwayi town. Returning families’ accounts are beginning to reveal the truth of the massive NATO assault and it is very different from the “news” released by NATO and Afghan regime luminaries in Kandahar. Retired farmer Toor Jan said that 26 family members including men, women and children died in Sperwan during NATO bombing and helicopter gunship attacks. Jaan observed, “Everybody thought the operation would remove the Taliban…instead, innocent civilians were attacked and several of my family members are still buried in rubble. This is not what we expected.” Haji Kherullah, 42, said he lost 2 sons and a nephew. Kherullah opined, “How can this loss be replaced? Everybody thought the operation was against the Taliban, not civilians. We were wrong.” Two local elders, Mullah Abdur Rahim and Haji Nanai stood by the accounts of Jaan and Kherullah, saying at least 29 civilians had died just in the Sperwan area. Nanai, the village elder, said many civilians like Kherullah had decided to remain in the area. Kherullah explained, “My home and my business is (in Sperwan), so I thought where else could I go? My sheep, my goats, my cows, my grapes, it’s all gone. The major problem is that I can’t go to my village again to restart my life with so much sorrow.” Kherullah sought refuge in Kandahar when NATO bombed his home. The response to this by NATO spokesmen was to back off the initial claim that no civilians died, to saying “we cannot rule out that someone stayed behind to look after crops or livestock, but it was not immediately apparent.”

At least 29 civilians killed by NATO “precision” bombing and rocket fire