Afghanistan: air strike kills civilians —again

An air raid killed 21 civilians in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand May 8, the provincial governor charged. “Twenty-one civilians, including women and children, were killed” in the raid on a village in Sangin district, Gov. Assadullah Wafa said. AlJazeera TV said it was not clear whether the raid was by NATO’s International Security Assistance Force or the separate US-led coalition. NATO denied knowledge of the raid.

The claim comes the same day that Col. John Nicholson, a US brigade commander, apologized to family members of 19 Afghans killed and 50 injured by US forces in a March incident. “I stand before you today deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people,” Nicholson said he told the family members. “This was a terrible, terrible mistake, and my nation grieves with you for your loss and suffering. We humbly ask for your respect and forgiveness,” he said.

There is growing anger in Afghanistan over civilian deaths in coalition military operations. (AlJazeera, May 9)

See our last post on Afghanistan.