By David Walsh
21 May 2009
On Wednesday, the same day another eight Afghan civilians were killed by a NATO-led air strike in Helmand province, the American military released the findings of its interim investigation into the mass killing of civilians in Afghanistan’s Farah province May 4.
The investigation concluded that US bombs killed “60 to 65 Taliban extremists” while “at least 20 to 30 civilians may have been killed during the fighting,” according to a US Forces Afghanistan news release.
This conclusion, unsubstantiated by any evidence, flies in the face of local accounts, International Red Cross reports and an official Afghan government inquiry that found 140 civilians, including 93 children, died in the US air attack. Only 22 of the victims were adult males. Other sources have put the total death toll higher.