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The 2001 Attack on Afghanistan

Within hours of the attack, television networks began to referring to Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect. On September 20, President Bush demanded that the Taliban government of Afghanistan surrender all leaders of al-Qaeda to the United States. Taliban representatives refused to comply with the demand without evidence that bin Laden was behind the attack. 1  

United States and British forces commenced the attack of Afghanistan on October 7, with an intense night-time bombing raid.

e x c e r p t
title: A Dossier on Civilian Victims of the United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan
authors: Prof Marc W. Herold
Seven Days of Ignominy

  • October 11th - the farming village of 450 persons of Karam, west of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province is repeatedly bombed, 45 of the 60 mud houses destroyed, killing at least 160 civilians. 77 Ms. Tur Bakai, who survived the attack, but all of whose children died in the attack, said, her voice barely audible, "I was asleep. I heard the prayers and suddenly it started. I didn't know what it was. I was so scared…" 78 ;

  • October 18th - the central market place, Sarai Shamali in the Madad district of Kandahar is bombed, killing 47 civilians; 79

  • October 21st - a cluster bomb falls on the military hospital and mosque in Herat, killing 100; 80

  • October 23rd - in the early a.m. hours, low-flying AC-130 gunships repeatedly strafe the farming villages of Bori Chokar and Chowkar-Karez [Chakoor Kariz], 25 miles north of Kandahar, killing 93 civilians; 81

  • November 10th - the villages of Shah Aqa and a neighboring sidling, in the poppy-growing Khakrez district, 70 kilometers northwest of Kandahar are bombed, resulting in possibly over 300 civilian casualties [though I have only recorded 125] 82

  • November 18th - carpet-bombing by B-52's of frontline village near Khanabad, province of Kunduz, kills at least 150 civilians. 83


77 Richard Lloyd Parry, "Witnesses Confirm That Dozens Were Killed in the Bombing," The Indpendent [October 13, 2001], and Nic Robertson and Marcus Tanner, "Bin Laden is not here, so why are we being bombed? War Against Terrorism: Koram," The Independent [October 15, 2001].

78 "Afghanistan's Female Bombing Victims," The Frontier Post [October 17, 2001].

79 BBC News [October 19, 2001] and Reuters [October 20, 2001]

80 "UN Confirms Destruction of Afghan Hospital," The Guardian [October 23, 2001].

81 Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah [Quetta], "Afghan Survivors Recount Bombings: Civilian Deaths Turn Them Against U.S.," Chicago Tribune [October 27, 2001].

82 "Taliban Confirm Fall of 7 Provinces," The Frontier Post [November 13, 2001], the Herald Sun [Australia] [November 11, 2001] citing the Agence France Presse, and DAWN [November 11, 2001].

83 Justin Huggler, "Carpet Bombing 'Kills 150 Civilians' in Frontline Town," The Independent [November 19, 2001].



1. White House warns Taliban: 'We will defeat you', CNN.com, 0/21/01

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