Hearts and Minds

Splattered along a new road in Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 28 ā€” A NATO airstrike killed 14 laborers working for an Afghan road construction company that had been contracted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to build a road in the mountainous province of Nuristan in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

The strike occurred late Monday night in the Norgram district of Nuristan when the Afghan workers of Amerifa Road Construction Company were sleeping in tents after a day’s work.

“Fourteen of our mechanics and laborers were killed as they were asleep in their tents,” said Nurullah Jalali, the executive director of the construction company. “We just collected pieces of flesh from our tired workers and put them in 14 coffins.”

The governor of Nuristan, Tamim Nuristani, said he could confirm that 13 workers had been “mistakenly” killed when NATO forces bombed the area based on what he said was an intelligence report that insurgents were infiltrating the area.

“All these victims are civilians, and they were from nearby provinces,” Mr. Nuristani said.

A NATO spokesman said its forces had struck the area in an attack on what it believed were Taliban insurgents but could not confirm that the road workers had been killed.

Mr. Jalali said that in the year his company had worked in the region, his workers had not come across any militants. “We have not seen any evidence of insurgency in that specific area, and we don’t know why and who attacked our laborers,” he said.

One thought on “Hearts and Minds

  1. I hate to say it, but they were in a remote region in Afghanistan, we dropped bombs on them. Therefore, by definition, they were insurgents, QED.
    The other question is what sort of recon we did before dropping bombs. A recon that couldn’t spot a road crew with earth moving equipment.

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