US air raid kills Afghan civilians | News | Al Jazeera

US air raid kills Afghan civilians

Women and children attending wedding party among 40 people killed in Kandahar.

    The victims were attending a wedding party in Kandahar when the air raid struck [EPA]

    'Collateral damage'

    "I can't confirm numbers," Julian said, adding the military regretted every time civilians became "collateral damage" when troops tried to take out anti-government fighters.

    Witnesses accompanying the wounded to Kandahar's main hospital said the dead included at least 23 children and 10 women.

    "Seven women, including the bride, and three children were admitted to hospital in Kandahar," an AFP news agency reporter said.

    Local residents said the attack was carried out after Taliban fighters fired on a US convoy in the Shah Wali Kot area of the province on Monday.

    David Chater, reporting for Al Jazeera from Afghanistan, said he had been told by a cameraman that a coalition patrol had gone through a village and was fired on by Taliban fighters.

    "As a result of that Taliban fire they called in closed air support and there was a wedding party going on in that village - there were some 90 people in a house - and the missile landed there," he said.

    Grief-stricken relative

    Roozben Khan, the father of the bride, said he had lost six relatives.

    "I lost two sons, two grandsons, a nephew, my mother and a cousin," Khan said.

    His daughter was among seven of his relatives who were wounded. The groom survived but his father, mother and sister were killed, he said.

    Mullah Mohammad Asim, the village cleric, said he had counted 36 bodies.

    "They bombed six to seven houses. They pounded and fired into the village from afternoon until midnight," Asim said.

    "At midnight, the Americans came and they took the men out of the houses and handcuffed them. But when they saw the death and the destruction, they removed the handcuffs and told us to take the wounded to hospital," he said.

    The bombing is the latest in a string of incidents in which the US military has been accused of attacking innocent civilians.

    The attacks have caused major friction between the US and the Afghan government.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.