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Posts Tagged ‘Taleban’

By Aziz Ahmad Shafe, Mohammad Ilyas Dayee and Aziz Ahmad Tassal in Khanshin, Helmand province (ARR No. 326, 14-July-09)

It is all too rare a phenomenon lately: local residents cheerful at the sight of foreign troops. But Operation Khanjar (Dagger Thrust), which the United States Marines launched in early July in southern Helmand, has so far delivered on its promise to put protection of civilians ahead of killing the enemy. (more…)

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The road home for Sultan Mahmood was hardly a welcoming sight. The route through the mountains was scattered with burnt-out cars and lorries and lined with the wreckage of buildings destroyed as the army mounted its assault on the Taleban in and around the northwestern region of Swat. (more…)

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KABUL (AP) — America’s new ambassador to Afghanistan expressed his condolences Tuesday to the families of scores of people who died during a recent U.S.-Taliban clash that Afghan government says killed 140 civilians. The U.S. disputes that toll.

Karl Eikenberry, who joined President Hamid Karzai on a surprise visit near the site of the battle, spoke before a gathering of more than 1,000 people at a mosque in the capital of western Farah province, said Abdul Gafar Watandar, the provincial police chief.

Eikenberry’s trip appeared to be an attempt to soothe tensions that followed the disputed May 4-5 battle in Farah’s Bala Buluk district.

It is unclear exactly how many people died in Bala Buluk and under what circumstances. The Afghan government has paid out compensation to families for 140 dead.

If the Afghan commission’s toll is correct, it would be the largest case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban. (more…)

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Los Angeles Times

By Laura King
Reporting from Qale Zaman, Afghanistan — The road to Bala Baluk district stretches arrow-straight ahead, with heat-shimmered cucumber fields on either side. But determining exactly what transpired nearly two weeks ago in a hamlet called Garani takes a far more twisted path.

A battle raged. Bombs fell. Afghan officials say at least 140 civilians died, two-thirds of them children and teenagers, in what may prove the most lethal episode of civilian casualties since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. (more…)

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New York Times

By Carlotta Gall and Taimoor Shah

FARAH, Afghanistan — The number of civilians killed by the American airstrikes in Farah Province last week may never be fully known. But villagers, including two girls recovering from burn wounds, described devastation that officials and human rights workers are calling the worst episode of civilian casualties in eight years of war in Afghanistan.

“We were very nervous and afraid and my mother said, ‘Come quickly, we will go somewhere and we will be safe,’ ” said Tillah, 12, recounting from a hospital bed how women and children fled the bombing by taking refuge in a large compound, which was then hit. (more…)

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Toronto Star

Toll of the injured, dead and displaced mounts as government forces and Taliban trade blows

MARDAN, Pakistan–Shamsul Kamar stood next to his hobbled 13-year-old son Pakhtoon, who grimaced in pain as he curled up on the faded sheets of a hospital bed, his feet bandaged in thick gauze.

One morning last week, Kamar recalled, Pakhtoon and his brother Sayed were sent by their mother to get groceries. As they left their home in Mada, a Taliban-occupied village in the farming district of Swat, government artillery began to blanket the area with shells. Sayed, 18, was killed instantly, while Pakhtoon’s feet were laced with white-hot shrapnel that tore off half of his left foot. (more…)

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New York Times

By Carlotta Gall and Taimoor Shah

KABUL, Afghanistan — American airstrikes that Afghan officials and villagers said Wednesday had killed dozens and perhaps more than 100 civilians in western Afghanistan threaten to stiffen Afghan opposition to the war just as the Obama administration is sending 20,000 more troops to the country. (more…)

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