Deh Bala wedding party airstrike
|Deh Bala wedding party airstrike|
The Deh Bala wedding party airstrike refers to the killing of 47 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, by a United States military airstrike on July 6, 2008. The group was escorting a bride to a wedding ceremony in the groom's village in Dih Bala district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.
The United States Government initially denied that civilians were killed in the incident, but an investigation by the Afghan Government determined that 47 civilians including the bride had been killed.
Summary of events
On July 6, 2008, a large number of Afghan civilians were walking the bride of a wedding ceremony to the groom's village in an area called Kamala in Dih Bala district of the eastern province of Nangarhar. When the group stopped for a rest, it was hit in succession by three bombs from United States military aircraft. The first bomb hit a group of children who were ahead of the main procession, killing them instantly. A few minutes later, the aircraft returned and dropped a second bomb in the center of the group, killing a large number of women. The bride and two girls survived the second bomb, but were killed by a third bomb while trying to escape from the area. Hajj Khan, one of four elderly men who were escorting the party, stated that his grandson was killed and that there were body parts everywhere.
Relatives from the groom's village stated it was not possible to identify the remains, and buried the 47 victims in 28 graves. An investigation ordered by President Karzai and led by a nine-man commission of the senate found that 47 civilians including the bride had been killed. Burhanullah Shinwari, a member of the commission, told the BBC that there were 39 women and children among those killed, and that eight of those who died were between the ages of 14 and 18. Another nine people were wounded in the attack.
On July 16, 2008, President Hamid Karzai visited the site where the US-led strikes hit the wedding. Rock band The Airborne Toxic Event recorded a track protesting the bombing entitled "Welcome to Your Wedding Day" on their second album All at Once.
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- Garlasco, Marc E. (2008). "Troops in contact": airstrikes and civilian deaths in Afghanistan. New York: Human Rights Watch. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-56432-362-0.
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- Clancy Chassay (16 December 2008). "Special report: 'I was still holding my grandson's hand – the rest was gone'". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "South Asia | US 'killed 47 Afghan civilians'". BBC News. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "AFP: Afghan leader visits site where US-led strikes hit wedding". AFP. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "Airborne Toxic Event Condemn Drone Bombings in 'Wedding' Song". Spinner. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- BBC video report from the scene including interviews with the relatives of the victims
- The names of all 47 victims and images of the wounded
- Some matter more – When 47 victims are worth 43 words