U.S. Raids Kill 15 Afghan Children

December 11, 2003

On December 6, a U.S. A-10 warplane fired 30mm high-explosive rounds into the village of Hutala, about 150 miles southwest of Kabul, the Afghan capital. Seven boys and two girls, the oldest age 12, were killed in the attack, as well as a 20 year-old villager.

According to eyewitnesses, children's hats and shoes littered a bloody field cratered by the gunfire. Reporters and local villagers indicated that pools of blood and articles of children's clothing were strewn on the ground.

"They were just playing ball, and then the shots came down," said Hamidullah, a local villager who said his eight-year-old son, Habibullah, was among those killed.

On December 10, U.S. military officials also announced that another six children and two adults were recently killed in a U.S. attack in southeastern Afghanistan.

U.S. military officials blame the deaths on its attempt "to kill a known terrorist," but other similar U.S. air-strikes have killed scores of Afghan civilians during the past two years.

Some well-known incidents include an attack in July 2002 when 48 civilians were killed at a wedding party and 117 wounded by a U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship in Uruzgan province. Also, on April 9 of this year, a U.S. warplane bombed a home, killing 11 civilians. Another air strike in Nuristan province in eastern Afghanistan on Oct. 31 reportedly killed at least eight civilians in a house.