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Villages pay price as US bombs go awry

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    Assalamu alaikum In fact, the US bombs did not miss their target. Their plan is to kill all Muslims, including civilians. ININ ... Villages pay price as US
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2001
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      Assalamu'alaikum

      In fact, the US bombs did not miss their target. Their plan is to kill all
      Muslims, including civilians.

      ININ
      -------------------

      Villages pay price as US bombs go awry

      http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/12/04/war04.xml&sSheet=/news/2001/12/04/ixhom.html

      By Philip Smucker in Jalalabad
      (Filed: 04/12/2001)


      SCORES of villagers have been killed by off-target American bombing of
      Tora Bora, Osama bin Laden's suspected mountain hideout, a senior
      anti-Taliban commander said yesterday.

      Last night, as the barrage continued, explosions could be heard from the
      outskirts of the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, to the north of Tora
      Bora. Villagers said bombs had missed the target and landed in their
      impoverished communities a few miles from the cave complex.

      Injured Afghans last night packed the emergency wards of Jalalabad's main
      hospital as relatives, some of whom said they had lost dozens of members
      of their extended families, denounced the bombings as grossly off-target.

      Haji Zaman Ghamsharik, the regional military commander, said bin Laden was
      sighted in the area three days ago and had been sent a message appealing
      for negotiations to end the bloodshed.

      He said bin Laden was asked to consider the hardship he was bringing to
      the Afghan people as American aircraft bombed the area. Almost 100
      civilians had died over the past three days of raids, he added.

      Hazrat Ali, the provincial security chief, said two elders claimed to have
      received a message from bin Laden in which he said he did not want to
      fight fellow Muslims, only "foreign troops".

      Mr Ali said he had sent a delegation to the White Mountains to negotiate
      the surrender of the foreign fighters defending bin Laden's mountain base.
      If they do not comply, he said, they would come under attack from a force
      of 1,500 troops sent from Jalalabad within days.

      Kenton Keith, the spokesman for the US-led coalition, said reports of
      civilian casualties around Tora Bora were being checked but he could not
      confirm whether any American bombs had gone astray and accused the Taliban
      of using "human shields".

      Moor Mohamed was still conscious even as doctors said they doubted he
      would survive. Both of his mangled arms had been amputated. "How can the
      Americans be so blind?" said Sultan Mohamed, the boy's uncle. "Everyone
      says Osama is seven miles deep inside Tora Bora in a cave; nowhere near
      our village."

      The strikes on his home were carried out with large "dumb bombs" that blew
      giant craters in the earth and levelled the mud brick houses at the base
      of the White Mountains. Dozens of men, women and children were reported to
      have been buried.

      "At 2.30am we heard a huge noise of something hitting our village," said
      Sultan Mohamed. "It was a giant bomb but it just hit with a thud and did
      not explode. The second one hit nearby and the third one hit our roof.
      Moor was sleeping and it took us two hours to pry him free from the
      rubble. I'm afraid it was too late."

      In the same ward, 14 other men and boys were critically injured. A room
      down the hall for females included still younger children, who had been
      injured in the blast while sleeping.

      Over two days, three villages were hit, all of them at the base of Tora
      Bora, but apparently far down the road from the Arab guerrillas of bin
      Laden's al-Qa'eda organisation. Dick Cheney, the US vice president, last
      week said he believed that bin Laden was hiding in the vast Tora Bora cave
      network. British defence sources said they had similar intelligence.

      The US strikes appeared widely off-target. At least 15 fighters and
      administrators working with a Western-backed warlord in Jalalabad were
      killed in bombing. Cdr Ghamsharik had boasted of meeting US
      representatives in Jalalabad last week.

      Lala Agha, a villager, said he had helped to place 22 bodies in lorries
      and driven them to a burial ground: "I was in a house when the bombs hit
      and we raced outside digging for bodies. I think there are still dozens
      buried in the earth."

      The young man said some of his fellow villagers were now angry at the
      commander. "They say that Haji Zaman told the Americans to bomb," he said.

      At the main hospital in Jalalabad most of the families of the injured and
      dying blamed the US military. They said they understood that the Americans
      had been targeting bin Laden, but questioned how "smart bomb" strikes
      could have gone so far afield. Niaz Mohamad, 45, said: "The US says that
      they can see everything. Why don't they hit Osama and not us?"

      Some of the villagers vehemently denied that there were any Arabs living
      in their area. Three weeks ago, a convoy of several hundred Arabs are said
      to have left their vehicles on the road into Tora Bora.

      A 60-year-old man who lost his wife and two grandsons said he escaped
      because he had left home for the evening prayer. "The Americans are
      shouting that they will bring peace, but they can't find Osama and instead
      they bomb us."


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