U.S. Military Kills 17 Civilians in Afghanistan

February 18, 2003

On February 12, officials in Afghanistan reported that 17 civilians, including women and children, were killed by U.S. Special Forces during a U.S.-led bombing campaign in southern Afghanistan.

"The people came crying, saying their relatives had died or were missing," Haji Muhammad Wali, a local Afghan official said in a report by the Reuters news service.

The fighting had been concentrated in Baghran, a mountainous region in the south. U.S. officials are promising renewed U.S. bombing attacks in eastern and southern parts of the country as a result of increased attacks on U.S. occupation forces.

Last summer, human rights groups estimated that between 1,500 and 8,000 Afghan civilians have been killed by U.S. bombs.