Bombing of a wedding

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http://europe.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/central/07/02/afghanistan.bomb… Probe into Afghan wedding bomb July 2, 2002 Posted: 1019 GMT Many children were injured after the bombs struck From CNN correspondent Nic Robertson and CNN producer Jon Raedler BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan and coalition officials have begun probing why U.S. planes bombed a central Afghan village, killing scores of people attending a wedding party. Afghan and American officials headed to the village in this central Asian country on Tuesday to begin an investigation into the "errant" bombing of a wedding party by a U.S. plane that killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 60. While it is unclear exactly what happened, the Afghan government says that wedding guests were firing up into the air in celebration, a common ritual in the rural part of the country, when the bombs fell, killing mostly women and children. U.S. officials have said that military planes were on missions in the area at the time and their forces returned fire after coming under attack from the ground. They have ruled out that wedding guests firing weapons into the air in celebration provoked the attack. AUDIO Nic Robertson reports on the early stages of the investigation 3.9 mb / 3 mins 6 secs WAV sound "Normally when you think of celebratory fire ... it's random, it's sprayed, it's not directed at a specific target," said Col. Roger King. "In this instance, the people on board the aircraft felt that the weapons were tracking them and were making a sustained effort to engage them." Special Forces The U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, said it was also sending a fact-finding team to determine what happened in Uruzgan province, about 175 miles southwest of Kabul, the capital. The bombing came in the midst of a U.S. Special Forces operation in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan against Taliban and al Qaeda positions. Between 100-200 Special Forces were taking part in an operation around Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan and called in close air support -- B-52 and AC-130 aircraft -- when they were fired on, King said. The area had a reputation for being hostile after past encounters involving coalition forces, King said, and the operation had pre-targeted an anti-aircraft facility. Special forces were also exploring Tarin Kowt for weapons, documents or enemy personnel. An Air Force B-52 dropped seven 2,000-pound bombs on known Taliban and al Qaeda cave complexes, but one of those bombs malfunctioned, a Pentagon official said Monday. Another Pentagon official described it as an "errant bomb." The type of bombs used were GBU-31 precision-guided munitions. Wounded Shah Wali talks with doctors about the injuries his wife suffered in the bombing. Many of the wounded in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan were taken to a nearby hospital in Kandahar. Among those injured was a 7-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl, both of whom were said to be the only surviving members of their families. A spokesman offered deepest sympathies on behalf of the U.S. government. A fact-finding team made up of representatives from the American military, the Afghan government, the U.S. Embassy and news media would "conduct an immediate on-site assessment of the incident." The six ministerial-level officials from the Afghan government include: -- Mohammad Arif Nurzia, Minister for Borders. -- Ghulam Ghous Nassiry, a Deputy Minister of the Interior Department. -- Gen. Abdul Qhader, First Deputy of the Intelligence Department. -- John Mohammad Khan, Governor of Uruzgan Province. Some of the elders of Uruzgan province will also accompany them.
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RE: Bombing of a wedding Tragic accident. Americans are not familiar with wedding celebrations in that part of the world. There it is common to fire full auto AKs, RPKs, RPGs and even mortars into the air (it's kind of a macho status thing for the wedding party). Americans assumed they were under attack and called for air support. I have not heard if they were actually taking fire, or only heard muzzle reports from the wedding party weapons.
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RE: Bombing of a wedding I find it interesting that the US armed forces have been involved i several armed conflicts since 1990 in which tens (if not hundreds)of thousands of civillians have been killed. If, however, you look at official claims and statements of the State Department or the Pentagon not one civillian was killed on purpose. Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that despite the massive budget and the extensive training, the Americans are the most accident prone military ever and they should avoid getting involved in any wars simply because they know that hundreds of civillians will be killed accidentally (surely this is man-slaughter or professional misconduct?). On the other hand, in Kosovo 4,500 Albanians were killed and not one of them by accident. The VJ, with its pathetic budget and questionable training techniques, hasn't made one mistake in a complex, furious ground war. Perhaps the Yanks should go to Yug to get some advice.

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RE: Bombing of a wedding [updated:LAST EDITED ON 02-07-02 AT 07:32 PM (GMT)]>I find it interesting that the US armed forces have been >involved i several armed conflicts since 1990 in which tens >(if not hundreds)of thousands of civillians have been >killed. What's your source for "tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of civilians"? Did the B-52s do a few hundred Arc Light strikes that were kept secret? IIRC the civilian casualty count goes something like this: -Panama <20 -Somalia <100 -Iraq about 2000 (including 400 Bath party members' families that were killed one night inside a military communications bunker - a legitimate target). -Bosnia/Kosovo/Serbia <1500 mainly Serbs near targets like power stations, communications centers, bridges and tunnels. -Afghanistan <200
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RE: Bombing of a wedding The tragic thing is that these events happens too often.
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Wedding gift from United States [updated:LAST EDITED ON 02-07-02 AT 10:29 PM (GMT)]SAS : why did we need them again? To lase targets? Naah, don't listen to those silly Britons, we'll do it the American way: B-52. Well, if you don't see the difference between a wedding and a SAM-site... god only knows what can happen next :-( If I were an Afghan, I wouldn't send my kids to Kintergarden. The CIA might think it's a terrorist training camp. It's obvious the US is trying to get a grip on the Afghan culture, rites of passage etc. 100 dead : collateral dammage, we didn't mean to hurt those people, but ##### happens. 100 Americans dead : HOLOCAUST, genocide, the evils have attacked, we must protect democracy :D

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RE: Wedding gift from United States Perhaps if every Afghan male over the age of 10 didn't carry a weapon and spent less time shooting in the air to satisfy their male egos, they would reduce this type of tragedy. Regards

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RE: Wedding gift from United States "Perhaps if every Afghan male over the age of 10 didn't carry a weapon and spent less time shooting in the air to satisfy their male egos, they would reduce this type of tragedy. " Yes, blame the victims... After all the US has done for them (ie pay for the nice Taleban to get into power etc etc). Of course now by accident the US has done something right for the afghans by kicking the Taleban out... of course for all the wrong reasons but they still seem to make mistakes. "IIRC the civilian casualty count goes something like this: -Panama <20 -Somalia <100 -Iraq about 2000 (including 400 Bath party members' families that were killed one night inside a military communications bunker - a legitimate target). -Bosnia/Kosovo/Serbia <1500 mainly Serbs near targets like power stations, communications centers, bridges and tunnels. -Afghanistan <200" How many thousand in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Korea, and during WWII and WWI? Ink was referring to the whole 20th century. Plus that communications bunker has been proved to have been a civil defence bunker and not a legitimate target.

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RE: Wedding gift from United States Lets clarify for those like Garry, Geforce and Ink, who apparently don't know (or don't want to be reminded) who the big killers of civilians were in the 20th Century: Germany USSR China Japan and the smaller murderers in Turkey, North Korea, Cambodia, Burma, Syria, Iraq, Angola, Rawanda, Balkins, Spain, Argentina, etc, etc, etc. Of course we know from previous threads that the USA was responsible for most of the wars during that time so actually I may have it wrong. Regards
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RE: Wedding gift from United States no offence sauron but dosen't every american carry a gun from the age of ten ??? rabie :9

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RE: Wedding gift from United States LOL. Only in Arkansas and Tennessee. The other 48 states make you wait until you are 13 before you can carry a gun.
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RE: Wedding gift from United States oh not quite rabie :9

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RE: Wedding gift from United States Rabie The ones that do are always causioned not to fire them during wedding celebrations. No offence taken as I am not American but I do have a registered firearm and a gun owners permit for my 12 guage pump just in case I need to repel rabid Brits. :-) The only folks here that don't need to abide by these rules are the criminals. Regards
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RE: Wedding gift from United States ahh just cos we burnt DC down in 1812 rabie :9
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RE: Wedding gift from United States Ok, I didn't want to be drawn on this but what can I say, I'm weak. Firstly, I have read very little about what is happening in Afghanistan as there seems to be quite an effective media-block on almost all military operations. However, I have read several differnt newspapers and seen a couple of interviews on TV news which seem to suggest that the number of civies killed in 'stan is between 2,000 and 5,000. Also, I would like to suggest that the Iraqis have suffered a great deal of civillian casualties, not just from the IIPGW but also from subsequent sporadic bombing raids (I won't even bother to go into the damage done by the sanctions). This is of course only in the last 12 years. How many civillians have to die in the next 12 before we realise that something needs to be changed. Finally, Garry is right to mention atrocities commited before 1990. Many civillians died in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia but that's ok, nobody was counting back then so we can just forget about it. And then there were the two greatest acts of murder mankind has ever seen (short of the holocaust - well pointed out Sauron).

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RE: Wedding gift from United States >...However, I >have read several differnt newspapers and seen a couple of >interviews on TV news which seem to suggest that the number >of civies killed in 'stan is between 2,000 and 5,000. These would not be the same newspapers that claimed the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo and "murdered a hundred thousand" muslims would it? Once the peacekeepers moved in, they found less than 1100 graves. Of those, many were found to be murdered by fellow muslims to settle blood feuds. >This is of course only in the last 12 years. How many >civillians have to die in the next 12 before we realise that >something needs to be changed. Here at the bomber factory, we went through a revolution in thinking in the early-to-mid 1980s. The F-117 was the first airplane whose warload consisted solely of PGMs. The fact that it could nail it's targets with monotonous regularity without collateral damage made the USAF and USN take notice. Since then, the primary (almost to the point of exclusivity) warload requirement for all new and newly modified airplanes has been for PGMs. New warheads are not being developed unless they are tied to a PGM. SDB and miniature munitions are being developed to reduce collateral damage due to DBAs from Kosovo and Serbia. Paveway3, JAASM, JDAM, WCMD, JSOW, ATACMS, and other weapons developed and fielded by the US all have tiny CEPs to reduce collateral damage. No other country has taken the reduction in collateral casualties as seriously as the US. >Finally, Garry is right to mention atrocities commited >before 1990. Many civillians died in Vietnam, Laos and >Cambodia but that's ok, nobody was counting back then so we >can just forget about it. And then there were the two >greatest acts of murder mankind has ever seen (short of the >holocaust - well pointed out Sauron). Ancient history guys (almost as absurd as those who point to the Crusades as proof of persisting evil intent against muslims)...The technology to hit large numbers of pinpoint targets did not exist before the 1980s. If the US had the genocidal tendancies you claim in your flights of fantasy, the USAF would be doing Arc Lights through the center of major cities instead of using PGMs. Some countries have PGM capability but still choose to use the old school method of widespread destruction (Does Grosny ring a bell)? Facts are not as interesting as the voices in your head.

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RE: Wedding gift from United States in fact Garry claims that Russians have more varieties, if not better PGMs than the US, then why did they have to level the entire city? Gents, the world court has just turned political.

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RE: Wedding gift from United States "in fact Garry claims that Russians have more varieties, if not better PGMs than the US, then why did they have to level the entire city? " I have never claimed that the Russians have more types of PGMs. I have said that they have as many types either in service or going through testing. The City of Grozny was not going to be leveled. That was the first plan... drive in in armoured vehicles to the main square and change the government. Of course we all now know that was a stupid plan and those armoured forces got trashed. The second plan was the plan that worked during WWII... this got them to a stalemate. The second time the Russians took on the Chechens they skipped plan one and did a much better job. Fighting with ground forces is always going to be bloody... that is why NATO and the US avoided it at all cost during Kosovo. It is also why the coalition forces didn't enter Iraq during Desert Storm. Indeed there were many human rights violations in Chechnia but they were dealt with by Russian courts.

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RE: Investigation continuing I just saw a CNN news item on this incident. There does seem to be people killed and wounded. The piece did suggest however, that the investigation team found little evidence to support that a large number of people were killed. When they asked to see bodies they were told they were all buried and when asked to see the graves they were told that the couldn't. Regards

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RE: Investigation continuing >I just saw a CNN news item on this incident. There does seem >to be people killed and wounded. The piece did suggest >however, that the investigation team found little evidence >to support that a large number of people were killed. When >they asked to see bodies they were told they were all buried >and when asked to see the graves they were told that the >couldn't. Right, they couldn't show the graves because the graves don't exist! This was the same story the peacekeepers were told when they went into Kosovo and Bosnia too. The graves of the "slaughtered masses" couldn't be found because they don't exist.
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RE: Investigation continuing The exaggerated numbers of killed in Kosovo came almost directly from the KLA (UCK/OVK - whatever) via their paymasters in NATO defense ministries. The numbers for killed and wounded in Afghanistan come from The International Red Cross and Red Cresent and from some other NGOs. The fact that they were reported on by the same TV News channels and Newspapers is less relevant (although I concede your point about the general inaccuracy of media reporters). All those PGMs, all that technology, all the effort they went to, all the spin-doctoring and yet it still seems clear that the US has killed hundreds, nay thousands of civillians in varrious countries around the world. Frankly, I'm not surprised few other countries are prepared to spend all that money, they seem to be doing fine with dumb-bombs and rockets :-).