Wednesday, July 08, 2009

WWB: Civilian casualties from crossfire

Photo: Many of the wounded in Tuesday's attack were children [Reuters]

He's not wounded. He's dead.

WHAT WAR BRINGS: civilian casualties from crossfire

This topic, just covering Iraq and Afghanistan since the US invasions, could fill an encyclopedia. I am going to list a few incidents I know about – this is NOT an exhaustive search at all. It is just a few articles I ran across while reading the news.

In Iraq, there are still daily occurrences of attacks on civilians by unknown gunmen (not US troops). This kills a lot of civilians also, probably more than the number who died from crossfire – from being unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here are a few recent examples:

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, May 27 2009

BAGHDAD - A car bomb targeting a U.S. military patrol killed four civilians and wounded 12 others in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib district, on the western outskirts of the capital, police said.

MOSUL - A woman was killed in crossfire between the Iraqi army and gunmen in Mosul on Tuesday, police said.

3 Americans and 3 Civilian Die in Afghanistan Attack

A suicide car bomber plowed into a NATO convoy on a main road north of Kabul on Tuesday morning, killing three American soldiers and three Afghan civilians, according to Afghan and American military officials.

Hand grenade kills child in Mosul

One child on Monday was killed and 15 civilians were wounded in a hand grenade attack in downtown Mosul city, according to a local police source.

“Unknown men threw a hand grenade at a U.S. patrol vehicle in Bab al-Toub area, downtown Mosul, killing a child and injuring 15 civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Grenade Blast Kills Afghan Child

An explosion near a US military convoy in northeastern Afghanistan has killed one child and wounded at least 49 other civilians, police said. It was not immediately clear what caused the blast on Tuesday in Asadabad, the provinical capital of Kunar province, but several witnesses said a US soldier had thrown a grenade into a crowd of people.

..... "I was on my way to school. Their tyre burst, and then a soldier hurled a hand grenade from the convoy," Abdul Wahab, a 12-year-old boy, told the Reuters news agency as he lay in a hospital bed with shrapnel wounds in his legs. Other victims at the Asadabad hospital gave similar accounts.

However, Sayed Fazelullah Wahidi, the provincial governor, said that US troops showed him fragments of a Russian-made grenade, an implication that someone in the crowd caused the blast.

Suicide car bomb targets Italian troops in W Afghanistan

A man driving explosive-laden car blew himself up next to Italian military convoy in west Afghanistan on Friday, provincial police chief Hekmatullah Alizai said. "The suicide bomber exploded his car very close to a convoy of Italian forces in Shindand district at 3 p.m. local time (GMT1030), killing himself and damaged an armored personnel carrier," Alizai told Xinhua. However, he did not say if there were any casualties on Italian forces but said two civilians died in the accident.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Afghanistan, July 1 2009

KUNAR - Three members of a family, including two children, were killed and four wounded when a rocket hit a house in eastern Kunar province, a provincial official said. It was not clear who fired the rocket.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Pakistan, June 30 2009

PESHAWAR - A mortar bomb fired by security forces aimed at a militant hideout struck a house in the Khyber tribal region overnight, killing seven civilians, senior government official Azam Khan Khalil said.

Bomb attacks kill 5 civilians in Afghanistan

In central Ghazni province, officials say a suicide car bomber rammed into a convoy of international troops on a highway. Two civilians were killed in the blast but there's no word yet on any casualties among the international troops.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Afghanistan, June 22 2009

KHOST - NATO troops shot dead an Afghan civilian in a car in Khost province in the southeast after the car failed to stop following a warning, the alliance said.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, June 20 2009

RAMADI - Two mortar rounds killed a man and wounded eight other people, including two police officers, when they landed on a house and a police station in southern Ramadi, 100 km (62 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Woman killed, cop wounded in Mosul incidents

“On Wednesday, a woman was killed during clashes between gunmen and police forces in al-Saa area, downtown Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The woman, who happened to be at the scene of the clashes, died in hospital from her wounds,” the source noted.

Like I said, this could go on forever. This is by no means an exhaustive list in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan. And most of the civilian deaths from crossfire do not even make the news. There have been reports from Iraqi bloggers of children being shot by US troops in the early days of the war, and the troops did not even notice that a child was shot.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: civilian casualties from crossfire.

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