US Kills at Least 95 in Afghan Air Strike

Scores of Civilians Killed as US Targets Hijacked Tankers

Last Updated 9/4/09 8:30 PM EST

At least 95 people were killed this morning, a large number of them civilians, in a US air strike in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. Though the US denied that any of the people killed were civilians, NATO acknowledged that there was “a possibility” that some civilians were killed.

The attack occurred after militants captured two fuel tankers overnight from a nearby German base. The Germans sent up a drone to look for the tanker, and after they found it called in a US jet to launch attacks on it, setting off a huge fireball.

Though the US claims efforts were made to ensure that there were no civilians in the area, provincial officials say nearly 500 villagers came at the invitation of the insurgents to syphon fuel from the tankers and many were still present at the time of the attack.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said it was unacceptable for NATO to deliberately target civilians, and promised an immediate investigation into the strike. The United Nations has also dispatched investigators for a probe into the killings.

If confirmed, the strike would be the deadliest since early May, when US air strikes killed around 140 civilians in the Farah Province. The US conceded that “mistakes” were made in that strike, after over a month of denying that any civilians were killed, but took no action against those responsible.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.