US air strikes kill Afghan civilians

Attacks by US warplanes this week killed up to six Afghan civilians, including a four-year-old girl, and left another 16 wounded. The incidents in Afghanistans southern Kandahar province have again underscored the grim human cost of the military escalation ordered by the Obama administration.

At least nine of the wounded reached the Kandahar City hospital. Photographs and television footage from the facility showed badly wounded women and children wrapped in bandages.

The Wednesday night attacks were prompted after a US foot patrol, apparently by special forces troops, drew fire from insurgents. The ground troops called for close air support, bringing in attack helicopters and other warplanes.

“I was at home last night when our house was bombed,” a resident of the Kandahar village of Tawalla in the Shah Wali Kot district, one of two hit by air strikes, told Reuters television. Two of his family members including the four-year-old girl, were killed, he said, while 12 others were wounded.

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