In memory of

 

Two children killed

A woman killed

Possibly 12 other civilians killed

Wounded a woman

on November 12, 2007

  in the Taliban-controlled district of Garmser along the Helmand River in the south of Helmand Province. U.S. occupation ground forces on patrol in a hamlet searching for a bomb-making facility were attacked by small arms fire. They responded and hit a building with a grenade causing it to collapse, killing those inside. After the fighting stopped, they discovered they had killed a woman and two children, some “suspects,” and wounded another woman. As usual, a U.S. military spokesman, Major Chris Belcher, offered the standard platitudes that they were unaware of civilians in the area and offered “heartfelt condolences to the families.”

 

The headlines by the different agencies are revealing with the Associated Press as usual burying the story of U.S. troops killing civilians (unlike the BBC, Alalam, DPA and Xinhua):

Associated Press: “US-led troops kill 18 in Afghanistan”

Agence France Presse: “22 Killed in new Afghan Clashes”

Deutsche Press Agentur: “Coalition Forces Kill 3 Afghan civilians, 15 Taliban in Clash”

Xinhua News: “15 Militants, 3 civilians killed in S. Afghanistan”

BBC: “Afghan civilians die in US raid” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7090393.stm )

Iran’s Alalam news agency: “U.S. Troops Kill More Afghan Civilians”

 

Unlike the other reports which merely reported on the facts, the A.P. news wire report included the usual U.S. propaganda refrain (about Taliban hiding amongst civilians, U.S. forces taking extreme measures to protect civilians, etc.). The BBC noted that the Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said 3 militants were killed and 15 other victims were civilians.

 

On May 27, 2007, the same area was hit by a U.S. air strike resulting in the deaths of at least seven civilians: “…residents of a village in the Garmser district of the southern province of Helmand say they were attacked by an air strike on Sunday. A villager, Abdul Qudus, told Associated Press: ‘They came and bombarded the houses of innocent people. Three houses were completely destroyed. Seven people—including women and children—were killed, and 10 to 15 wounded. We are still searching for five missing people’.”

 

Killed by U.S. ground forces’ grenade thrown into a home