Angry protesters marched through the capital of the Farah province, stoning government buildings in an effort to express their outrage at this week’s US air strike in the province, which has killed a massive number of innocent civilians in the nearby town of Bala Buluk.
Provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar told the Agence France-Presse that their own investigations confirmed that “more than 100 non-combatants” have been killed in the air strike, making it the single deadliest incident since America’s 2001 invasion.
But while the Obama Administration has expressed its “regrets” for the enormous toll, the military is speculating that it didn’t actually kill anyone at all. Instead, they guess, the Taliban killed the civilians with grenades, loaded them into buildings, then tricked the US into attacking the buildings, so they would be blamed. One military official, who insisted on anonymity, claimed there was “very reliable intelligence” to back up their assertion.
As the war continues to escalate, it is taking an enormous toll on Afghanistan’s civilian population. 2008 saw a record number of civlian deaths, and incidents like this one suggest that 2009 will rival it.