In memory of

 

 

Zeni Khel

Nasratullah Noor

At least 32 other worshippers

died in the evening of November 16, 2001, the start of Ramazan

 

 

when the Jalaladin Light of Koran Mosque and an attached religious seminary in Khost were hit during evening prayers by a U.S 500-pound bomb. The U.S. war planes dropped 3 bombs aimed at an “enemy facility”, but one missed and struck the seminary, killing about 34 worshippers. The dead included the two young men, Zeni Khel and Nasratullah Noori, as well as Afghan, Pakistani and Arab fighters. The day after the deadly U.S. attack, villagers retrieved the bodies from the rubble, buried them side-by-side and pooled money to turn the site into a shrine for all those killed, including women, children and members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The shrine at Mata China has 40 graves and became a popular place of worship and communion. U.S. occupation forces rebuilt the mosque but no one goes there. Reuters correspondent Sayed Salahuddin visited the shrine in November 2004 and wrote,

 

A headscarf hid the young woman’s face as she passed by, but her message for a stranger asking why people would congregate at the graves of al Qaeda fighters was clear, ‘Osama is in our hearts.’ She was one of a handful of Afghan villagers who had come at daybreak to pray at a shrine…”

 

 

 

Dozens of Qu’rans which had been placed in the destroyed mosque for storage were recovered and placed in rags. They too now form part of the tomb (see photo above by James Rupert).

 

  

 

A deadly U.S. “precision” strike with a GBU-12 laser-guided 500-lb bomb