I bet you remember this like it was yesterday.
Or maybe not.
And I’m wondering if the UN and even a close ally like Israel, condemned America for this massacre of innocent civilians in an outrageous display of disproportionate firepower. Seven kids killed to get “several al-Qa’eda” and two captured. Sounds disproportionate to me.
Note the complete lack of scepticism in the reporting about what a Nato spokesman says. Note the claim that children were told they could not leave the compound: human shields. This is exactly why Col Richard Kemp so clearly says that the vast majority of UK troops who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq understand what Israel faces and back us.
Seven children die as US bombs Afghan school
By Tom Coghlan in Kabul 12:01AM BST 19 Jun 2007
Seven children died when American aircraft bombed a religious school in an attack against the Taliban in the Afghan province of Paktika, the US army said yesterday.
American army spokesmen said several al-Qa’eda insurgents were killed and two captured in the attack on Sunday. It came hours after a suicide bomber killed 35 people in Kabul, the largest single loss of life in a Taliban attack since 2001.
US-led coalition forces, which operate separately from Nato’s command structure, accepted responsibility for the Paktika raid but accused the Taliban of using the children as human shields. “We are saddened by the innocent lives that were lost as a result of militants’ cowardice,” said Major Chris Belcher.
The raid was called in against a residential compound that also contained a mosque and a madrassa in the Zarghun Shah District of Paktika Province.
“Coalition forces confirmed the presence of nefarious activity occurring at the site before getting approval to conduct an air strike on the location,” the statement said.
Coalition troops had “surveillance on the compound all day and saw no indications there were children inside,” said Major Belcher.
He claimed that children who survived told American forces they were prevented from leaving and beaten when they tried to do so.
Western forces have been repeatedly accused of failing to take adequate precaution to protect ordinary Afghans.
Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, warned in March that the patience of the Afghan people for foreign troops in their country was “wearing thin”. At least 120 civilians have been killed by Western forces in the country so far this year, according to government estimates, sparking protests in Afghan cities.
In the most notorious incident, on March 4, the US apologised after a special forces unit shot dead 19 civilians and injured 50 near the city of Jalalabad after their unit was attacked by a suicide bomb which injured one American.
Afghan officials also said yesterday that as many as 75 civilians had been killed or wounded and dozens more Taliban fighters and local police had died in three days of clashes in the southern province of Uruzgan.
A Nato spokesman confirmed that there was a “large engagement” in the area. Dutch troops are reported to be supporting Afghan forces fighting around the town of Chora, which had come under attack from hundreds of Taliban fighters.
Yesterday a Nato soldier was reported killed in the south of the country and three injured. Their nationalities were not disclosed.
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