Friday, November 30, 2007

NATO Airstrikes Hit Taliban, Not Civilian Workers

This isn't getting nearly as much play as the initial reports, which claimed that NATO airstrikes killed civilian workers.
NATO says evidence collected at the site of an airstrike against a Taliban leader in northeastern Afghanistan shows the attack was successful and did not result in the deaths of 14 construction workers.

Brigadier General Carlos Branco said Thursday Afghan and NATO forces tracked the movements of the key Taliban leader in Nuristan province, Abdullah Jan, and five of his followers Monday night - and that they were eliminated by a precision airstrike.

Branco added there was no construction equipment or materials at the site, indicating there was no presence of civilians.

Also Thursday, police in southern Kandahar province said Afghan and international forces killed about 30 Taliban insurgents and captured 12 others overnight.

In neighboring Helmand province, two Danish soldiers were killed in a gunbattle with Taliban insurgents. Denmark has more than 500 troops in Afghanistan.

NATO and the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan have been sharply criticized for killing civilians during their military operations against insurgents.

NATO has said it is doing all it can to prevent civilian casualties - and has blamed Taliban militants for using local people as human shields.
The Taliban have not been nearly as criticized in the media or by the Afghans themselves, despite the fact that the Taliban are largely responsible for the civilian casualties by using civilians as human shields and for not following the Geneva Conventions.

Also, the locals get riled up as the media acts as a Taliban shill by claiming that airstrikes have killed Afghan civilians when there is scant evidence that such events have taken place.

The Taliban continue to play the media for fools, and those hoping that the media outlets would display more caution in running these stories will be out of luck.

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