Monday, May 22, 2006

UPDATED! Looks like the Taliban is getting its ass kicked 
From Monsters and Critics News

An airstrike on rebel strongholds in the restive southern Afghan province of Kandahar by US-led coalition forces killed at least 77 people, according to an official statement from Afghan authorities Monday.

There were 16 civilians among the dead and more than 60 fighters from the radical Islamic Taliban, Kandahar Governor Asadullah Khalid said.

A further 15 civilians had been injured in the airstrike, Khalid added.

The civilian casualties occurred because they had hidden Taliban fighters in their houses, Khalid said.

The US military had said earlier that there had been more than 50 'unconfirmed' casualties, which later turned out to be Taliban fighters.

US combat helicopters and aeroplanes had launched their attack at 2300 (1830 GMT) Sunday near the village of Azizi in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, once the main stronghold of the former Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, according to witnesses.

'These individuals were active members of the Taliban network and have conducted attacks against coalition and Afghan forces as well as civilians,' the US military said in a statement released in Kabul.

Five rebels had been taken prisoner, the statement said.

Since last Wednesday, there has been heavy fighting in the area between Taliban rebels and Afghan and coalition troops that resulted in more than 200 dead, including four foreign soldiers - two French, one American and a Canadian.

It was the worst fighting since the former Taliban regime was ousted in 2001.

Over the weekend, Afghan and US-led coalition forces killed 20 Taliban fighters during a battle in Afghanistan's southern province of Uruzgan, the US military said in a separate statement.

Mullah Mohibullah, a Taliban commander who was responsible for the death of at least one soldier during an ambush and the injuries of several others, was taken prisoner during the operation, the statement said.

Why is that "the worst fighting since 2001?"

We just greased 60 of their guys, and took five prisoner, including some senior leadership, without loss to our own.

That sounds like GREAT fighting!

Splash, out


UPDATE: The reliable idiots at the New York Times put their predictable spin on the victory: US Airstrike at Taliban Kills Civilians, Afghans Say.

It would be one thing if new information had come out to suggest that the strike was errant - that a Taliban unit had not, in fact, taken shelter in a civilian neighborhood.

Nothing doing. The Times stipulates to the Taliban presence - and thereby establishes that the houses were occupied by an armed force and therefore a legitimate military target under the law of land warfare.

The governor of the province likewise stipulates the presence of the Taliban - as do the witnesses interviewed by the Old Blind Lady:

Mohammed Rafiq, a 23-year-old farmer, said the bombs had caused enormous destruction. "I don't have anything left," he said.

Another farmer, Azizullah, 30, said three members of his family had been killed. "I was at home when the Taliban came to our village last night," he said. "After some time, U.S. planes came and bombed the Taliban, and they bombed us, too."

Damn right. And if your village shelters the Taliban in their homes, we'll do it again, motherf***er.

When he went out in the morning to go to the hospital, he said, he saw dozens of dead Taliban fighters on the ground, apparently killed in the aerial bombardment. Sixteen villagers were also killed and 15 were wounded, he and other villagers said. Fifteen wounded people were in the hospital, including an 8-month-old baby, doctors confirmed.

Another villager, Taj Muhammad, said two of his brothers had been killed, and others in his family were wounded. He said that when the bombing started, the Taliban were desperately trying to take shelter and were not trying to fight.

Good. That's the best time to attack and kill them.

This was a significant battlefield score. But the Times (note the unwestern byline) can't bring its pathetic self to acknowledge the victory.

All a matter of one's point of view...one man's victory is another's defeat...

It's just that the publishers/journalists/editors don't realize we're paying attention. Tho you'd think they'd RATHER understand that by now.
So, if we got prisoners, then we had troops on the ground. Did they call in the strikes? If so, why not tell us their nationality...I'm guessing they were French or Canadian and the media wants to paint this as US warplane action only.

Of course, maybe F-16s can take prisoners nowadays.
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