In memory of 

 

22 civilians (including women and children):

Shekh Anwar, family father

Sheri Ali, his son

Norullah, another son

Noral, another son

Shekh Anwar’s wife

Shekh Anwar’s infant

Torgul, son of Mohammad Masom

2 small children of Mohammad Masom

Feda Mohammad, son of Akam Khan

Abdullah, son of Akam Khan

2 small children of Akam Khan

2 sons of Mohammad Hanif

Haji Dastangul, family grandfather

Basgul, wife of Haji Dastangul

Mohammada Gul, son

Sayeda Gul, son

Denar Gul, grandson of Haji Dastangul

2 other children of the Dastangul family

 

 

at 3 A.M. on January 23/24, 2009

 

 

in the mountain village of Garoch in the district of Mehtarlam, Laghman Province. The Garoch area had been struck by U.S forces three times before during 2008. The U.S. military carried out a ground and aerial attack allegedly targeting “a Taliban commander.” Shooting broke out as the occupation forces approached the village and, as usual, close air support was called-in. The U.S. bombing or strafing resulted in 11-22 civilians including women and children being killed. A village elder, Malik Rahman Gul, put the dead at 21 civilians. Local legislators put the number of dead at more than 20 and said they included women and children. The head of Laghman’s provincial council, Emadudin Abdul Rahimzai, said 22 people were killed and their bodies found at different locations. "They were all civilians, including two women and two children," he said, adding “Several tribal elders in the area contacted me today and said they took out 21 dead bodies, including women, from the destroyed houses.” The Karzai regime said 16 civilians had died including 3 children and 2 women. Other Afghan officials put forth figures of at least 11, or 16 or 21. 15 homes were destroyed, 260 cattle were slaughtered in the attack. At 6 A.M. the U.S occupation troops finally leave Garoch. Many villagers (~250 families) decide to flee their homes to live in the desert near the provincial capital, Mehtarlam. In March 2009, an epidemic killed 3 more children. Water and food  are scarce. Rahim Gul, 55, who fled Garoch told the independent Pahjwok Afghan News (the A.P. showed no interest apparently),

 

“what kind of a government is this and what kind of human rights they speak of as we are dying of thirst while 5 kms away people bathe in water.”

 

True to form, the U.S. military proclaimed it had killed “15 militants.” How were militants recognized in the dead of night? The next day angry anti-American demonstrations took place in Mehtarlam and the U.S. military promised to carry out a non-independent investigation of itself.

 

Malik Rahman Gul told Reuters by telephone,

 

“Their (21) bodies are on the ground. If you (Afghan government) do not believe us, you have helicopters and you should come to the area and see that these are civilians.”

 

The U.S military might wish to speak with the villagers of Garoch filmed by Al Jazeera to find out what really happened on the ground. The rare video of villagers bombed by U.S. war planes may be viewed at

 

 

Video: US air raid fuels Afghan anger - 27 Jan 09
Al Jazeera English - Jan 27, 2009
Afghan civilians have rallied against America amid reports that civilians were killed in a US air raid over the weekend. The US military says 15 fighters ... Show video

 

 

 

Killed in a U.S. close air support strike at 3 A.M