Another night of heavy bombing over Afghanistan has seen three more United nations food warehouses hit, despite clear markings which are visible from the air at night.
More than 20 bombs were dropped on Taleban and Al Qaeda positions to the north and east of Kabul in 11 hours of air raids by American military aircraft.
Six bombs are reported to have fallen in a densely populated civilian area. Eyewitnesses claim that the screams of women and children could be heard between the explosions in what appears to have been yet another tragic mistake.
The United Nations Organisation has confirmed that three warehouses containing food aid supplies were destroyed in the bombing. Civilian casualties have so far been calculated at three dead and eight injured, although the final tally could be much more. Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem, Defence Department spokesperson, admitted that the US Air Force had hit “a Red Cross warehouse, situated near another warehouse which we had hit previously”. The President of the European Parliament, Nicole Fontaine, has called on the United States to stop using cluster bombs in attacks against Afghanistan. She declared that this type of bomb has the same effect as anti-personnel mines and for this reason, should be “banned”. She described the deployment of such weapons, which have already caused civilian casualties, as “a lack of humanity” and “a political error”.
Cluster bombs explode over their target, releasing hundreds of mini-bombs over a wide area. These lie dormant until they are activated by human activity – a passing tank, a column of soldiers, or a curious child.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL
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