US-led air strikes killed dozens of Afghans including women and children, the Red Cross said today, confirming an incident that could overshadow a meeting between the US and Afghan leaders.
Rohul Amin, governor of Western Farah province, where the bombing took place during a battle on Monday and Tuesday, said he feared 100 civilians had been killed. Provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar said the death toll could be even higher.
If confirmed, those figures could make the incident the single deadliest for Afghan civilians since the campaign to topple the Taliban in 2001.
Jessica Barry, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the Geneva-based group had dispatched a team which reached the scene of the air strikes yesterday afternoon.
"There were women and there were children who were killed. It seemed they were trying to shelter in houses when they were hit," she said.
The team saw houses destroyed and dozens of dead bodies, providing the first international confirmation of the incident. (1)
We can't win this war fighting it like this. We're just dragging it out and making the enemy stronger.
1 - "Dozens die" in Afghan airstrikes, says Red Cross," by Sharafuddin Sharafyar of Reuters, reproduced by The Independent, 6th of May, 2009. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/dozens-die-in-afghan-air-strikes-says-red-cross-1679930.html)