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NATO airstrike in Afghanistan kills up to 90

Associated Press Writer Sep 4, 12:13 PM EDT

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AP) �  An American jetfighter blasted two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing up to 90 people, including insurgents and dozens of civilians who had rushed to the scene to collect fuel, Afghan officials said.


(ap) - Well that's interesting... I remember the AP and it's children in the "Free Press" consistently putting these tragic products of War on Bush when he was in charge.  Now it's "NATO" who's doing all the Killing of the Innocents... Good thing to Know.  I guess we suddenly have a Coalition over there now too?...  Correct me if I'm Wrong, but didn't Obama deliberately expand our Mission in Afghanistan?... Why, he sure did.  Interesting how the AP Reports on things depending on whether or not it's the guy they Voted for or Against. - tha malcontent)

Germany, which called in the 2:30 a.m. airstrike, said 50 fighters were killed and that no civilians were in the area at the time. Later, however, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen acknowledged some civilians may have died.


("Germany" did it... Got it.  I remember the Left, including the "Free Press" Questioning the numbers of other Countries Troops in these Theaters, and how those low numbers of other Countries was an Indicator of our Acting "Unilaterally"... What Changed?...

  • Flag of the United States United States - 29,950
  • Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom - 9,200
  • Flag of Germany Germany - 4,050
  • Flag of France France - 3,700
  • Flag of Canada Canada - 2,830
  • Flag of Italy Italy - 2,795
  • Flag of Poland Poland - 2,000
  • Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands - 1,770
  • Flag of Australia Australia - 1,090
  • Flag of Romania Romania - 1025
  • Flag of Spain Spain - 780
  • Flag of Turkey Turkey - 730
  • Flag of Denmark Denmark - 700
  • Flag of Belgium Belgium - 510
  • Flag of Norway Norway - 485
  • Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria - 470
  • Flag of Sweden Sweden - 397
  • Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic - 340
  • Source: Wikipedia

...Looks like we ARE the Force in Afghanistan... And of course, this was OUR Planes that did this... When (43) was President the Left mocked these numbers as Representing nothing but our Dominance in this Faux "War on Terror".  Now Apparently this is a True Coalition.  When we increase our Numbers over the others even Further, the Dishonest Left will probably Applaud it.  The Question that has to be Asked is the same one the Left Lamented over during (43)... How many of these "Innocents" have Brothers who are now going to join al Qaeda and try to Retaliate against us?...  Why did the Left seem to Stop Asking these Questions as of Barry's Election Win last Fall?... - tha malcontent)

The attack in northern Kunduz province is likely to intensify Afghan public anger over such casualties, which prompted NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal last June to order curbs on airstrikes where civilians are at risk.

Violence has soared across much of the country since President Barack Obama ordered 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan this year, shifting the focus of the U.S.-led war on Islamic extremism from Iraq. Fifty-one U.S. troops died in Afghanistan in August, the deadliest month for American forces there since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.


(Finally... So why isn't this New and Increased Bloodshed on both Sides a Product of Barry's Actions?... They would've been Blamed on (43), and no Honest Person can Deny that Fact.  Nope, now in the Messianic Age, it's now NATO's Problem. - tha malcontent)

Kunduz, a former Taliban stronghold, had been generally peaceful until insurgent attacks began rising earlier this year - perhaps an effort to control a profitable smuggling route from Tajikistan. Most of the fighting in Afghanistan this summer has been in the south and east, where U.S. and British forces operate. Germany has troops under NATO command in Kunduz and is responsible for the area.


(Until earlier this year, eh?... Wonder what "Changed"?... - tha malcontent)

The airstrike occurred a day after Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled for the first time that he may be willing to send more troops after months of publicly resisting a significant increase - despite growing public opposition in the United States to the war.


(What did the Left say again, back during (43)?... "Quagmire"... "Vietnam"... "The Soviets Failed when they Tried, don't ya Know!..." But hey, Barry is their Guy, so War is OK now... Get back in line, Peasant!.. Hell!, Blackwater is Apparently OK now too!  I am now Done with this AP TRIPE... Have a Great Holiday Weekend, and don't Forget, keep your Kids Home on Tuesday the 8th! - tha malcontent)

A large number of civilian casualties could also stoke opposition in Germany to the Afghan mission ahead of the Sept. 27 German national elections. There are 4,050 German soldiers in Afghanistan, and polls show a majority of Germans oppose the mission.

Friday's airstrike came hours after the militants seized the tankers near the German base - possibly for a suicide attack against the base, according to German Deputy Defense Minister Thomas Kossendey.

German troops reached the scene at 12:30 p.m. and after about 40 minutes received fire from militants, according to a Germany army statement. They returned the fire.

Officials said the airstrike took place after an unmanned surveillance aircraft determined no civilians were in the area.

German officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity as a matter of policy, said the strike took place 40 minutes after the commanders requested it. It was unclear whether civilians began to assemble during that time.

It was impossible to independently verify details because the attack occurred in an area where Taliban forces operate. Travel is risky, and the Germans refused to allow an Associated Press reporter to accompany them to the site.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the trucks were headed from Tajikistan to supply NATO forces in Kabul. When the hijackers tried to drive the trucks across the Kunduz River, the vehicles became stuck in the mud and the insurgents opened valves to release fuel and lighten the loads, he said.

Villagers swarmed the trucks to collect the fuel despite warnings that they might be hit with an airstrike, Mujahid said, claiming no Taliban fighters died in the attack.

Abdul Moman Omar Khel, member of the Kunduz provincial council and a native of the village where the airstrike happened, said about 500 people from surrounding communities swarmed the trucks after the Taliban invited them to help themselves to the fuel.

"The Taliban called to the villagers, 'Come take free fuel,'" he said. "The people are so hungry and poor."

He said five people were killed from a single family, and a man he knows named Haji Gul Bhuddin lost three sons.

Kunduz Gov. Mohammad Omar said 90 people were killed, including a local Taliban commander and four Chechen fighters.

A senior Afghan police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said the dead included about 40 civilians.

The director of the Kunduz hospital, Humanyun Khmosh, said a dozen people, including a 10-year-old boy, were treated for severe burns.

Many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, and villagers were burying some of those in a mass grave.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sharply criticized the U.S.-led command for allegedly using excessive force in the war against the Taliban, alienating the civilian population. Karzai repeated those charges in last month's still-unresolved presidential election and on Friday announced he was creating a panel to investigate the attack.

"Targeting civilians is unacceptable for us," he said.

The U.S. Embassy released a statement saying it was aware of reports of civilian casualties in Kunduz and that it awaits the results of a joint investigation by NATO and the Afghan government.

"We send our condolences to those families who lost loved ones," the statement said.

Last May, U.S. warplanes struck military targets in the western Farah province, killing an estimated 60 to 65 insurgents. The U.S. said 20 to 30 civilians also died in those attacks. The Afghan government said 140 civilians were killed.


Associated Press Writer Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.


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