Scattered to hell and back.
Nine members of a family were killed in an American airstrike in central Afghanistan, including five women and three children during a battle with militants, Afghan officials said today.
The incident came just 12 hours after American forces in eastern Afghanistan opened fire on civilians when a suicide car bomb exploded next to their convoy Sunday morning, leaving at least 10 people dead and 25 wounded, according to Afghan officials. The shooting sparked angry demonstrations that blocked the main highway Sunday.
“Coalition forces observed two men with AK-47s leaving the scene of the rocket attack and entering the compound,” said Lt. Col. David Accetta, a military spokesman, said in a statement. “These men knowingly endangered civilians by retreating into a populated area while conducting attacks against coalition forces,” he said.
John Sifton, senior researcher at the New York-based group Human Rights Watch, also expressed concern at the level of force used by coalition and NATO troops. “That is heavy firepower to respond to two men, even if they have Kalashnikovs,” he said in a telephone interview. “If that version of events bears up, it would strongly suggest that the attack was disproportionate.”