Afghan Govt: US Strike Killed 140 Civilians

US Still Insists Toll Was Much Lower

by Jason Ditz, May 12, 2009

An Afghan government commission has concluded that 140 civilians were killed in the United States air strikes in the Farah Province last week, and are providing relatives with $2,000 for each slain civilian. The findings provided further confirmation that the attack was the single deadliest incident of US forces killing Afghan civilians since the 2001 invasion.

The US military has yet to admit to the toll, claiming it is “extremely over-exaggerated.” They insist that only around 50 were killed in the attack, and that most of them were insurgents. This was in stark contrast to its previous claims that the entire incident was manufactured out of wholecloth by the Taliban, who captured scores of civilians, killed them with hand grenades, stored them in a house then tricked the US into blowing up the house.

The deaths have led Afghan President Hamid Karzai to demand that the international forces end all air strikes in the country. US officials have insisted that the attacks must continue in spite of Afghan opposition, and National Security Adviser James Jones said he believed President Karzai would understand.

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