A look at NATO strikes that killed large numbers of civilians in Afghanistan

Monday, February 22, 2010

NATO strikes that killed many Afghan civilians


— Sept. 4, 2009: U.S. pilots bomb two hijacked fuel tankers in a German-ordered airstrike near the northern town of Kunduz, killing dozens of Afghans. German officials, citing a classified NATO report, say up to 142 people are believed to have died or been injured. Afghan leaders estimate 30-40 civilians were killed.

— May 4-5, 2009: An Air Force B-1 bomber drops a 2,000-pound bomb on a building during an overnight assault in western Farah province. Area officials say the attack killed 140 villagers. A U.S. report estimated that 26 Afghan civilians were killed along with at least 78 Taliban fighters and five Afghan police officers. Many bodies were buried before the investigation started, so the discrepancy was never resolved.


— Nov. 3, 2008: A U.S. airstrike in the remote village of Wech Baghtu in southern Kandahar province destroys a housing complex where villagers say women and children had gathered to celebrate a wedding. A joint U.S.-Afghan investigation found that 37 civilians and 26 militants were killed in the battle. The U.S. has said the militants forced the Afghan villagers to stay in Wech Baghtu during the battle.

— Aug. 22, 2008: U.S. airstrikes hit Azizabad village in western Herat province. Afghan officials and the U.N. say 90 civilians died in Azizabad; the U.S. says 33 died.

— July 4, 2008: Fighter aircraft battling militants accidentally kill 47 Afghans walking to a wedding ceremony in eastern Nangarhar province, according to an Afghan government investigation. The U.S. military says only combatants were killed, and suggests that reports of civilians killed were based on propaganda from militants.


— June 2007: Artillery fired into the town of Chora during a three-day battle in Uruzgan province killed 52 civilians, according to Afghanistan’s president. NATO acknowledged that civilians may have died in the battle repelling an attempt by hundreds of militants to seize the district, but did not give specifics.

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