themcglynn.com

13 May

Children, 95 Dead

Afghanistan: 95 children among dead in U.S.-Taliban clash

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KABUL (AP) — Ninety-five Afghan children are among the 140 people said to have died in a recent U.S.-Taliban battle in western Afghanistan, according to a list drawn up by Afghan officials, a lawmaker said Wednesday. The U.S. military disputed the claim.

Afghans blame U.S. airstrikes for the deaths and destruction in the villages of Gerani and Ganjabad in Farah province.

Sixty-five of the reported victims on the list were female, either adults or children, said lawmaker Obaidullah Helali, a lawmaker from Farah and a member of the government’s investigative team. If the Afghan toll is correct, it would be the largest case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban.

U.S. military spokesman Col. Greg Julian said “there is no physical proof that can substantiate” the Afghan list of victims. The U.S. has refused to release a number of people it thinks died in the May 4-5 clash in Farah’s Bala Baluk district.

Julian said militants are to blame for the deaths because they kept villagers hostage during the fight.

The International Committee of the Red Cross also has said that women and children were among dozens of dead people its teams saw in the two villages, but it did not provide an overall figure.

President Hamid Karzai has said the strikes were “not acceptable” and estimated that 125 to 130 civilians died……………………………………………….

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