KABUL - A U.S. bomb flattened a flimsy mud-brick
home in Kabul Sunday blowing apart seven children as they ate
breakfast with their father.
The blast shattered a neighbor's house killing another two
children in one of the most gruesome scenes of Washington's
three-week-old bombing of the Afghan capital.
An Afghan man lifts the head of a child who along with 11 other civilians died during U.S. air raids in Kabul on October 28, 2001, witnesses said. A man and his seven children were killed when a bomb crashed through their home, according to the family's mother. (Sayed Salahuddin/Reuters)
U.S. bombers killed a total of 12 civilians in two early
morning raids on the city.
Two civilians were also killed when U.S. planes mistakenly
bombed a village north of Kabul in territory controlled by the
opposition Northern Alliance Saturday, residents said.
The bombing has outraged many Muslims. In neighboring
Muslim Pakistan masked gunmen killed up to 15 Christians and a
policeman who was guarding their church Sunday.
In Kabul, the sounds of grief echoed down shattered alleys.
``What shall I do now? Look at their savagery,'' wailed the
wife of Gul Ahmad as the bodies of her children were pulled
from the smoldering wreckage of her home and wrapped in
``They killed all of my children and husband,'' she said.
``The whole world is responsible for this tragedy. Why are
they not taking any decision to stop this?'' she asked.
Sobs racked the body of a middle-aged man as he cradled the
head of his baby, its dust-covered body dressed only in a blue
diaper, lying beside the bodies of three other children, their
colorful clothes layered with debris from their shattered
The U.S. attacks were launched on October 7 against
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban in retaliation for sheltering
Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September
11 attacks on the United States that killed some 5,000.
BOMBS HIT BUS, OPPOSITION VILLAGE
The houses were in a residential area called Qalaye Khatir
near a hill where the hard-line Taliban militia had placed an
Men digging graves for the children were angry.
``Your filming makes no difference. Nobody runs it. Just get
lost,'' one said to a Reuters reporter.
Two other civilians died when a bomb hit the minibus in
which they were attempting to flee Kabul with their family.
Two villagers were killed and 10 people injured when U.S.
warplanes mistakenly bombed the tiny hamlet of Ghanikhel in
territory held by the opposition Northern Alliance near their
frontline positions facing the Taliban Saturday.
The blast turned the mood in the village against the United
``The Americans come here, drop their bombs on Afghanistan
and kill innocent people,'' an Afghan cleric, Kamaruddin, said
at the funeral of one victim Sunday.
``We cannot condone this, although we ourselves are guilty,''
Kamaruddin shouted, as 100 men crouched in the morning sun in
the bleak cemetery just outside the village.
``We were the ones to invite them here.''
The United States and its allies have been attacking
Taliban positions north of Kabul for a week, dropping powerful
explosives from high in the sky to avoid the Taliban's meager
The Taliban say hundreds of Afghan civilians have been
killed by stray U.S. bombs or missiles. U.S. officials call the
Opposition foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, while
refusing to confirm the presence of U.S. soldiers in the area,
said the opposition was trying to work more closely with the
United States to avoid mistakes.
Asked if coordination had improved Abdullah told reporters
in Jabal-us-Saraj: ``I shouldn't say that there is a
breakthrough in that but we are trying to improve it.''
Taliban Education Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said attacks
north of Kabul were intense.
``U.S. jets have been very active and during the past 24
hours the bombings have been the worst since the start of the
attacks,'' he told Reuters in Kabul. He stressed that
battlefield losses had been minimal.
But Abdullah Abdullah urged the United States to step up
the bombardment of forward positions, saying the damage to
Taliban frontlines had been formidable.
``Yesterday's damage to the Taliban capacity in the
frontlines was significant,'' he told a news briefing.
``If yesterday's type of bombing becomes the standard, the
objective of the eradication of terrorism and the war against
terror as a whole could be achieved much quicker -- sooner
rather than later.''
But Washington's political campaign to replace the Taliban
with a broad coalition of Afghans took a blow when the Taliban
captured and executed exiled opposition commander Abdul Haq,
who had slipped into Afghanistan to try to persuade Pashtun
tribal leaders to switch allegiance.
Haq is expected to be buried in Afghanistan because the
Taliban have not released his body for burial in Peshawar,
northern Pakistan, where thousands of exiled Afghans paid their
respects to the Haq family Sunday.
DEATH FOR CHRISTIANS
The bombing of civilians is particularly embarrassing for
Muslim countries supporting the United States.
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, under fire at home
from Islamic opponents for dropping support for the Taliban,
has said the bombing must be as short and targeted as possible.
He condemned the killing of the 15 Christians in central
Pakistan, the first such attack.
Christians had expressed fears they could become targets if
unrest broke out over the U.S. bombing.
In a show of support for the isolated Taliban, more than
4,000 Pakistani tribesmen and exiled Afghans gathered six km
(four miles) from the Afghan border in Pakistan's remote
northwestern tribal region, hoping to cross into Afghanistan.
Young and old had come from miles around to volunteer to
fight, using a motley array of weapons from muskets to
``They have sent a delegation for talks to Kandahar to
discuss the arrangements but the people have not yet crossed
into Afghanistan,'' Rehmatullah, a witness said.
Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited