Angry Mourners Bury Civilian Victims of US Airstrike in North Afghanistan

Afghan Officials Say Taliban Used Locals as 'Human Shields'

Hundreds of angry mourners gathered today in the north Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari to bury an estimated 30 civilian victims of a US airstrike the previous day. The locals noted that many of the civilians being buried were infants and small children.

Two US soldiers and four Afghan soldiers were killed in fighting with the Taliban near the village Thursday morning, and the airstrikes were called in, supposedly in an attempt to break the Taliban siege against the village. Instead, the airstrikes hit the village, destroying several homes and killing those within.

NATO promised an investigation into the details of the matter, but Afghan officials appeared to be shrugging the matter off, insisting the Taliban were using the locals as “human shields” by virtue of their operating somewhat near their homes.

US statements on the fighting and airstrikes have more or less ignored the civilian toll entirely, insisting only that they take such reports “seriously,” and then going into details about the condolences they offer for the US soldiers killed in the fighting.

Bouz Kandahari is near the city of Kunduz, which was taken over briefly last year by the Taliban. The Taliban has been advancing in the area in recent weeks, along with offensives against the capitals of two other provinces, Helmand and Uruzgan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.