US air strike killed 76 civilians, says Afghan president
By Jonathon Burch in Kabul
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Coalition forces bombarded the Azizabad area of Shindand district on Friday. The US military said it was aware of allegations of civilian casualties, but said those killed were militants. “Our reports from our own forces on the ground are only, so far, that those killed in the strikes were 30 and they were all militants,” said a US military spokesman. “All allegations of civilian casualties are taken very seriously. An investigation has been directed.”
Demonstrations erupted in Shindand after Afghan soldiers arrived to bring aid to the victims’ families. The troops fired shots into the air and wounded six people after the crowd threw stones. Protesters said they would continue to demonstrate until “the attackers had been brought to justice”.
Kai Eide, the United Nation’s special envoy in Afghanistan, said that he was aware of conflicting reports of casualties in Shindand and called for the incident to be investigated “thoroughly and quickly” before any conclusions were made. “The United Nations has always made clear that civilian casualties are unacceptable