Afghan president calls on Obama to put an end to civilian casualties
Afghan men examine a house allegedly destroyed by U.S. airstrikes in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo credit: Humayoun Shiab / EPA)
November 5, 2008
KABUL – The Afghan president congratulated Barack Obama [on his election as president of the United States] and called on him Wednesday to halt civilian casualties as villagers said U.S. warplanes bombed a wedding party, killing 37 people – most of them children.
President Hamid Karzai said airstrikes cannot win the fight against terrorism.
“Our demand is that there will be no civilian casualties in Afghanistan. We cannot win the fight against terrorism with airstrikes,” Karzai said. “This is my first demand of the new president of the United States – to put an end to civilian casualties.” …
Obama has talked about the issue of civilian deaths in the past. In remarks in August that drew criticism from Republicans, he said: “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.” …
Civilian casualties, which undermine popular support for the Afghan government and the international mission, have long been a point of friction between Karzai and the U.S. or NATO.
According to an AP count of civilian deaths this year, U.S. or NATO forces have killed at least 275 civilians, while 590 have died from militant-caused violence like suicide bombs.
The airstrikes in Kandahar come three months after the Afghan government found that a U.S. operation killed some 90 civilians in the a western village. After initially denying any civilians had died there, a U.S. report concluded that 33 civilians were killed.
29 wounded as bus station and small market are targeted
November 4, 2008
BAGHDAD – Bombs exploded at a bus station and a small market in Baghdad, killing 15 people and wounding 29 others Tuesday, police and hospital officials said.
A bomb hidden under a car exploded at a bus depot in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Mashtal on the capital’s east side, killing 11 people, including two women. Twenty-one others were wounded in the attack, authorities said.
In the northern Shiite-dominated district of Qahira, four people were killed and eight others injured when a roadside bomb exploded near a marketplace, police said.
Also Tuesday, one person died when a roadside bomb targeted the convoy of a Shiite government official and former member of the Iraqi Governing Council in central Baghdad. …
In the northern city of Mosul, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a passing police patrol, injuring four officers, police said.
Two other attacks also took place Tuesday in Mosul, which has experienced a spike in violence in recent months. A roadside bomb struck an army patrol, injuring an officer, and a policeman was injured when an unknown gunman opened fire on him. …
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