U.S. Raid Killed 10 Afghans, President Confirms
Saturday, January 31, 2004; 1:58 AM
By Sayed Salahuddin
KABUL (Reuters) - About 10 Afghan villagers were killed in
a U.S. air raid two weeks ago in Uruzgan province in the center
of the country, Afghanistan's U.S.-backed president said on
U.S. military officials were not immediately available for
comment but two days after the January 18 raid, a U.S.
spokesman rejected reports from provincial authorities that 11
civilians, including four children, had been killed.
"There are casualties, unfortunately, men and women," Hamid
Karzai told reporters on the steps of his presidential palace
during a weekly briefing.
"About 10 people, according to the reports," he said,
referring to results of a government investigation of the
attack in the province's Charcheno district.
Afghan provincial officials said three women were also
among the dead.
The U.S. military spokesman said five armed men had been
killed in the raid after they left a compound where mid-level
leaders of the former Taliban regime had gathered.
Mountainous Uruzgan was a bastion of the Taliban before the
hard-line Muslim regime was overthrown by a U.S.-led offensive
in late 2001.
The province has been the scene of intermittent clashes and
U.S. attacks since then.
In July 2002 a U.S. helicopter gunship fired on a wedding
party. The Afghan government said 48 people were killed and 117
The U.S. military eventually said 34 people were killed and
50 wounded -- most of them women and children -- but said its
aircraft had come under fire.
In December, 15 children were among 18 people killed in
bungled U.S. air strikes aimed at militant commanders in the
southeastern provinces of Paktia and Ghazni.
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