Granai airstrike

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Granai airstrike
Date May 4, 2009
Location Granai, Bala Buluk District, Farah Province, Afghanistan
Casualties and losses
Estimate: 86–147 killed, mostly women and children

The Granai airstrike, sometimes called the Granai massacre, refers to the killing of approximately 86 to 147 Afghan civilians by an airstrike by a US Air Force B-1 Bomber on May 4, 2009, in the village of Granai (sometimes spelled Garani or Gerani) in Farah Province, south of Herat, Afghanistan.[1][2][3][4][5]

The United States admitted significant errors were made in carrying out the airstrike, stating "the inability to discern the presence of civilians and avoid and/or minimize accompanying collateral damage resulted in the unintended consequence of civilian casualties".[6][7][8]

The Afghan government has said that around 140 civilians were killed, of whom 22 were adult males and 93 were children.[2][3] Afghanistan's top rights body has said 97 civilians were killed, most of them children.[2] Other estimates range from 86 to 147 civilians killed.[6][9] An earlier probe by the US military had said that 20–30 civilians were killed along with 60–65 insurgents.[2] A partially released American inquiry stated "no one will ever be able conclusively to determine the number of civilian casualties that occurred".[6] The Australian has said that the airstrike resulted in "one of the highest civilian death tolls from Western military action since foreign forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001".[10]

Airstrike video[edit]

A combat camera video of the airstrike was made by the bomber aircraft involved. When the Pentagon investigation on the incident was released in 2009, it did not include the video.[6][11] In 2010, Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower in the Pentagon Papers case, called for President Obama to release the video of the airstrike online.[12][13]

By May 2010, WikiLeaks had an encrypted copy of the video it had received from U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning and was attempting to decrypt it.[14][15][16] In a March 2013 statement, Julian Assange disputed prior news reports claiming WikiLeaks had been unable to decrypt the file and alleged that the video "documented a massacre, a war crime."[17] Assange said WikiLeaks no longer had the video due to former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg deleting it along with other files when he left WikiLeaks in September 2010.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Campbell, Matthew (11 April 2010). "Whistleblowers on US ‘massacre' fear CIA stalkers". The Times (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d de Luce, Dan (8 June 2009). "We failed to follow bombing rules: Pentagon". AFP (Google). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Shalizi, Hamid; Graff, Peter (16 May 2009). "U.S. strikes killed 140 villagers: Afghan probe". Reuters. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Gall, Carlotta; Shah, Taimoor (14 May 2009). "Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes newspaper". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Boone, Jon; MacAskill, Ewen; Tran, Mark (6 May 2009). "US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Farmer, Ben (11 April 2010). "Wikileaks 'to release video of US strike on Afghan civilians'". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Tran, Mark (3 June 2009). "US military admits errors in air strikes that killed scores of Afghan civilians". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Schmitt, Eric P; Shanker, Thom (2 June 2009). "US Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Denselow, James (23 June 2010). "Hail to the whistleblowers". The Guardian (London). 
  10. ^ "'More than 100' die in US-led air strike in Afghanistan". The Australian. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  11. ^ de Luce, Dan (18 June 2009). "US military debates release of Afghan air strike probe". AFP (Google). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  12. ^ Ellsberg, Daniel. "Obama Should Release the Garani Massacre Video to the American Public Immediately". 17 June 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  13. ^ With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information, Democracy now, June 17, 2010 .
  14. ^ McGreal, Chris (16 June 2010). "WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  15. ^ Poulsen, Kevin; Zetter, Kim (6 June 2010). "U.S. Intelligence Analyst Arrested in Wikileaks Video Probe". Wired. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  16. ^ Savage, Charlie (1 March 2013). "Soldier Admits Providing Files to WikiLeaks". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "WikiLeaks has more US secrets, Assange says". March 5, 2013. AU: The Age. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°37′19″N 62°26′06″E / 32.62194°N 62.43500°E / 32.62194; 62.43500