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July 9, 2008

Afghanistan Civilians Killed By U.S. Air Strikes

As if the war in Afghanistan was not bad enough, now reports about civilians being killed are coming out. It seems that the death toll is up for everyone in Afghanistan. As I watch the pictures of my fellow country men that have fallen in this war, I am pained. As I hear about this terrible information about civilians in Afghanistan being killed as well, I just have to wonder, what is going to happen with the Afghanistan situation?

The air strikes were aimed at helicopters that were carrying insurgents. However, the governor of the province says that 22 civilians were killed along with the insurgents. Of course, in war, unfortunately, civilians die. They get in the line of fire and bullets and grenades have no names on them. Whoever happens to be in the way dies.

The discrepancy comes though when the military says that they fired on the group of people because they fired on them. So where the people killed insurgents or not? Well, that is a very good question. Were the civilians attacking the troops or did the troops make a mistake and hit the civilians? Hard to tell at this point.

The military says that there were no civilian casualties. The way that the governor of the province described the situation was that the opposition fired on the U.S. military base the day before and the civilians were killed the next day. Due to the remotes of the area that was hit, it is hard to tell exactly what happened. Speculation of civilians being killed will of course not sit well with the rest of Afghanistan and rightfully so.

Will these attacks end up sparking something more? Let’s hope not. There has been enough in the way of destruction. As the war intensifies and begins to take the forefront over the Iraq occupation, the answers for Afghanistan seem even vaguer than they are for Iraq. With no clear cut mission, enemies and friends begin to look remarkably like one another. Suddenly there are dead bodies on both sides and no one has clear answers.

The province governor is saying that 22 bodies showed up at the provincial hospital along with seven other non fatally injured people. Someone needs to get to the bottom of the situation and either come out and make an apology or boldly state that 22 civilians were not killed by U.S. fire.

There were also other attacks that lead to deaths. At a checkpoint eight police officers were shot down. This added to the overall death toll in Afghanistan. Last year 8,000 people died in Afghanistan due to insurgent attacks. When you add up all of the bodies, soldiers, civilians and militants, it is important to remember that every single one is a human being. All of those individuals died prematurely and the killing and death does not seem like it is coming to an end at all. This year alone, which is just a little bit more than half over, 2,100 people have died.

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