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U.S. Raid Kills 100 Afghans

by Reuters Tuesday, Jan. 01, 2002 at 6:52 PM

U.S. warplanes killed over 100 people in a weekend raid in eastern Afghanistan, villagers said Monday.

QALAYE NIAZI, Afghanistan/KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. warplanes killed over 100 people in a weekend raid in eastern Afghanistan, villagers said Monday . Witnesses said at least one U.S. fighter jet, a B-52 bomber and two helicopters had swooped early Sunday morning on the village of Qalaye Niazi, about 2.5 miles north of the city of Gardez, capital of Paktia province.

"There are no al Qaeda or Taliban people here, "insisted villager Janat Gul. The raid seemed sure to stir up tensions between those factions in Kabul's U.N.-backed interim administration that want the U.S. bombing campaign to halt and those who believe the raids -- under way since October 7 -- should continue.

At Qalaye Niazi, Janat Gul said 24 members of his family alone were killed in Sunday's pre-dawn U.S. bombing raid and described himself as the sole survivor: "People are very upset about what is going on here," he said.

Survivors removed scraps of wood -- virtually all that appeared to be left of 12 houses. Amid the devastation, a Reuters cameraman could see scraps of flesh, large pools of blood and clumps of what appeared to be human hair. A member of the local tribal shura, or council, at Qalaye Niazi said they had invited U.S. forces to come to the village to see the damage and to find out what had happened.

In the United States, Major Pete Mitchell, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said: "We are aware of the incident and we are currently investigating."

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