"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Air Strikes in Afghanistan kill civilians .. and French soldiers. Bombing is addictive

ABC reported that Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said ;"We have inflicted heavy casualties," and added that the military had responded with air strikes that killed five Taliban and several civilians, he said.

ABC also noted . "that Taliban statements are not always accurate and the information could not be independently verified.

They also reported the deaths of ten French soldiers in an action in Sarobi district, about 50 kilometres east of the capital Kabul last Monday 18th August after a reported 100 Taliban attacked an almost equal number of French Isaf troops in the Uzbin Valley.

On the Wednesday following an air assault was called in to respond to an attack on troops operating in Laghman province, which adjoins the Sarobi area "During the operation, more than 30 militants were killed and a large cache of mortar rounds and IED [improvised explosive device] materials were destroyed by the commandos," the US military said in a statement.

They went on to say the attacks were called when the area was clear of women and children after about 200 civilians were seen fleeing, and there were no civilian casualties.

AP reported that "a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Capt. Scott Miller, said the bombing was in the same area as the French attack but "it wasn't a retaliation." (who said it was ?)

"I think it goes to show there's a lot of bad guys out there," Miller said.

The coalition said 200 civilians fled the area before the airstrike. More than 30 militants were killed and one militant was wounded and taken for treatment after the clash, it said."

AP also reported "Abdullah Fahim, spokesman for the provincial health ministry, said 21 civilians were wounded, including eight women, eight men, and five children."

Al Jazeerah also reported on Thursday "French troops 'killed by Nato jets' " they also quote France's Le Monde newspaper who quoted French soldiers who had survived the ambush near Kabul on Monday saying they were hit in a "friendly fire" incident.

The soldiers told the newspaper they waited for four hours for back-up after being ambushed.

But when Nato planes finally arrived they hit French troops after missing their target, the newspaper quoted the soldiers as saying.

There are about 70,000 international troops, 40,000 of them with a Nato-led ISAF force, who are fighting alongside Afghan security forces against Taliban fighters whose government was removed in a US-led invasion in 2001.

AP say that more than 3,400 people — mostly militants — have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to figures from Western and Afghan officials.

PS : An Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission researcher visited Azizabad — the village in Herat province where airstrikes took place early Thursday — and found 88 people had died, 15 houses were destroyed and others were damaged.

"Seventy-six people, all civilians and most of them women and children, were martyred," the interior ministry said late Friday. The dead were "19 women, seven men and the rest children all under 15 years of age," it said. Karzai's office said at least 70 civilians died.

Coalition forces make every effort to prevent the injury or loss of innocent lives. An investigation has been directed," said a coalition statement from the main US military base at Bagram, north of Kabul.

Such investigations take a long time - the coalition investigation into the strikes on the wedding party in the eastern province of Nangarhar on July 6th have still not been made public.

In that instance The Afghan government launched an investigation, sending a commission to look into the locals’ claims. Dr Borhanullah Shinwari, a member of the delegation, told IWPR that all those killed were innocent civilians.“We saw the scene of the incident,” he said. “There were no military men there.”

See also Alastair Leithead's BBC report Afghan survivors tell of wedding bombing 13th July..."Scattered around are chunks of twisted metal, blood stains and small fragments of sequinned and brightly decorated clothes - the material Afghan brides wear on their wedding day. "

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish