After the inexplicable reports coming from Afghanistan that not only a B-52 bomber but also a Spectre AC-130 assault aircraft and two helicopter gun-ships had been deployed against a wedding party near Kandahar, it becomes clear that the belief that Mohammed Omar was in the area may have provoked the attacks.
Certainly, this was not the first incident in which Afghan civilians have been murdered in incidents with the US military but it is curious that the incident took place long after hostilities have ceased. It is also curious that such a savage and vicious attack could have been launched against a wedding party.
Colonel Roger King, the US military spokesperson at Baghram military airbase, confirmed that an AC-130, a B-52 bomber and “other aircraft” had launched the attack against what was initially conceived as anti-aircraft fire, which later turned out to be the normal high-spirited Kalashnikov gun-fire at an Afghan wedding.
Initial reports from eyewitnesses that there were around 100 dead have been corrected to a final figure, among the majority of news agencies, of 40 dead and around 100 wounded. The communications chief of the province of Uruzgan, declared that there was a wedding party in the village of Kakarak, 280 kilometres south-west of Kabul, at which the guests started firing Kalashnikovs into the air, a practice which is customary in rural Afghanistan.
A Pentagon official confirmed that a US air reconnaissance team had reported that it had come under fire in the area. Raz Mohammad, brother of the governor of the province of Uruzgan, Yar Mohammad, claimed that “We believe he (Omar) is still in the region. There are forces of Kandahar helping the US forces to catch Mohammed Omar”.
Abdul Qayyum, a survivor, said that American troops flocked to the area shortly after the incident, demanding to know who had fired the shots. Some wer4e screaming “tie him up!” but others said “Leave him, he’s an old man”. Eyewitnesses told the US troops that there were no Al-Qaeda or Taleban forces in the region. “These people were all civilians – women and children” he added.
Pravda.Ru has recorded at least nineteen such events of “friendly fire” or “collateral damage” since the beginning of the US campaign in Afghanistan. In one such incident, the US bombs did not even hit the right country, landing instead inside Pakistan.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru