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U.S. Air Strike Kills 9 Children in Afghanistan

StoryDecember 08, 2003
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Nine children were killed in southern Afghanistan when two U.S. warplanes fired rockets and bullets into a group of villagers sitting under a tree. The military claimed they were trying to assassinate a member of the Taliban. We speak with Women For Afghan Women’s Masuda Sultan who lost 19 members of her family in a U.S. attack two years ago.

Nine children were killed in southern Afghanistan when two U.S. warplanes fired rockets and bullets into a group of villagers sitting under a tree. The military claimed they were trying to assassinate a member of the Taliban. Local residents told the BBC, the man [Mullar Wazir] had left the area 10 days before. The UN said the incident was "profoundly distressing" and announced plans for an investigation. The BBC described their target as a low-ranking member of the Taliban who was suspected of overseeing the murders of two foreign contractors.

Last week Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Afghanistan where he met with rival warlords, Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammed, and later held talks with President Hamid Karzai at his presidential palace.

Rumsfeld said the warlords whose forces collaborated with American ground troops to help topple the Taliban regime two years ago, are making progress toward disarmament.

  • Masuda Sultan, program coordinator for Women for Afghan Women. She has traveled to Afghanistan four times since the U.S. began bombing two years ago. She was living in New York at the time of Sept. 11 and traveled back to Afghanistan a few months later only to learn a U.S. attack had killed 19 members of her family.

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