PressTV & Global Research & Agence France-Presse – 2010-11-07 00:18:16
War Crimes: ‘US Targets Civilians in Kandahar’
PressTV & Global Research
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (November 5, 2010) — US-led forces in Afghanistan have once again been criticized for military operations that have led to death and destruction in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
A human rights group says civilian casualties have spiked since operations started in Kandahar province in early September.
The Afghan Rights Monitor (ARM) says the US-led campaign in Kandahar has destroyed or damaged hundreds of houses. It says US-led NATO forces have used aerial bombings, hidden booby traps and mines in private homes.
According to the rights group, most of the attacks have been carried out in areas that hold about one-third of Kandahar province’s population.
Tens of thousands of Afghan and foreign troops have been fighting the Taliban in Kandahar province to flush militants out of the region.
The developments come as the US and its allies step up a bombing campaign in the troubled southern Afghanistan.
US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan are currently continuing with their massive military operation in the volatile region. Witnesses have recently told Press TV that NATO forces have dropped more bombs on villages they assume Taliban militants are hiding in, inflicting extensive damage to civilian properties.
The Western military alliance says it is experimenting with a new powerful bomb during the operation.
More than one-hundred thousand Afghans have been killed since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. The loss of civilian lives at the hand of foreign forces has led to a dramatic increase in anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.
There are currently more than 150,000 US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan. US-led forces have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan under Washington’s new war strategy that aims to reduce its military presence next year.
20 Afghanis Killed by US Air Strike on Spin Boldak, Kandahar
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (October 29, 2010) — NATO said Friday that air strikes killed more than 20 rebels in Afghanistan’s troubled south. The force said one raid was called in Thursday after militants opened fire on coalition aircraft flying above Spin Boldak, a district bordering Pakistan in the insurgency-hit province of Kandahar.
The US-led military alliance says the airstrike took place in a district of Kandahar Province, near the border with Pakistan. NATO issued a statement, saying that the Friday airstrike targeted a group of Taliban militants in Spin Boldak district, considered a Taliban-linked militant stronghold.
“When the air weapons team received small-arms and machine gun fire from a large group of insurgents, it returned fire with rockets and the aircraft’s 30mm cannon,” it said. Air weapons team is a military term for helicopter gunships.
The military said soldiers then impounded 17 motorcycles, a vehicle widely used by rebels in hit-and-run attacks. A car and several weapons were also seized, it added.
The incident comes as the US and its allies step up a bombing campaign in southern Afghanistan. Afghan officials have repeatedly asked US-led forces to end the imprecise aerial bombardments that mostly inflict civilian casualties. US-led forces, however, maintain that they are targeting militants. US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan are currently continuing with their massive military operation in Kandahar.
Witnesses told Press TV that NATO forces have dropped more bombs on villages they think Taliban militants are hiding in, inflicting extensive damage to civilian properties. The Western military alliance says it is experimenting with a new powerful bomb during the operation.
NATO said a separate air strike killed two guerrillas, one of them allegedly a senior Taliban leader, in the neighbouring province of Zabul on Thursday. “Coalition forces conducted the precision air strike on the vehicle, destroying it and killing two occupants,” it said.
British General Nick Carter told AFP that it would take until June to know if the offensive was making genuine progress. US-led troops and Afghan forces say they have pushed Taliban militants back to mountainous areas. More than 100,000 Afghans have been killed since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. The loss of civilian lives at the hand of foreign forces has led to a dramatic increase in anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan.
US-led forces have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan under Washington’s new war strategy, which aims to reduce its military presence next year. There are more than 150,000 US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan supporting President Hamid Karzai’s administration against the Taliban, whose nine-year insurgency is concentrated in the south.
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