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Afghans mourn for civilians killed in US bombing

From the last year of the Obama administration (2016) to the last full year of recorded data during the Trump administration (2020), the number of civilians killed by U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan increased by 330 percent.

1 min read
A man shows the damage of a house destroyed by bombs dropped by U.S. forces in Hesarak District of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, July 30, 2023. (Photo by Aimal Zahir/Xinhua)

Nazar Gul, an Afghan doctor respected by households far and near his village, was killed during a bombing by U.S. forces in 2019. Until now, one of his patients still keeps the medicine Gul had prescribed before his death as a memorial from the deceased hero.

“Everyone feels his absence in our village,” said Haji Sharif Khan, Gul’s elder brother, also a resident of the Naserkhil village of Hesarak District in east Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.

Khan recalled that his brother treated 150 to 200 patients daily. “Gul used to go to the clinic from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. After lunch, he would go to his private clinical office for another round of examinations of his patients until evening.”

Gul used to work for a government-funded clinic called “Adda Institution” and ran a personal clinic office near his village.

The attack hit the village at around 3 a.m. on March 9, 2019, according to Khan. “A bomb was dropped on their house, and a kid shouted, ‘They hit my uncle.’ Hearing this, Mrs. Gul and her children hurried to the bombarded room,” Khan said, adding that they were heartbroken when they found the body of Gul.

Khan said everyone in the village stayed home with extreme fear, “no one dared to see what happened,” and neighbors did not come out until morning prayers.

“About six planes came for bombardment from three sides, which continued for over three hours. M4 ammunition, helicopters, jets and even B-52 aircraft were included in this attack,” he said.

Thirteen people, including Gul and his five daughters, were killed in this airstrike. Their bodies are now buried in the village, Khan told Xinhua.

Khan’s family is still living in three rooms of the old house that belonged to his deceased brother, and some of the family members moved to the provincial capital of Jalalabad.

“No one has even asked about our condition, and no humanitarian organization helped and assisted us,” said Khan. “The United States has oppressed the whole land of Afghanistan with its plans and programs.”

In 2017 the U.S. military relaxed its rules of engagement for airstrikes in Afghanistan, which resulted in a dramatic increase in civilian casualties, according to a report named Costs of War conducted by the Brown University.

From the last year of the Obama administration (2016) to the last full year of recorded data during the Trump administration (2020), the number of civilians killed by U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan increased by 330 percent, the report noted.

“They (The U.S. forces) killed a two-and-half-year-old girl, a two-year-old girl and another one-and-half-year-old girl. What was the crime of those innocent children?” Khan said.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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