Mohammad is recalling the terrible night 10 years ago when the U.S. military launched airstrikes on his hometown of Lakani in Panjwayi district of south Afghanistan's Kandahar province, killing 63 villagers and injuring scores others.
Killed in their beds
"Remembering the night is still horrific even after 10 years. Innocent people were killed in their beds without committing any crime," he said.
U.S. fighter planes began bombarding his village just before midnight. The airstrikes continued until the next morning, claiming civilians' lives in the village. "I lost 17 members of my family that night," Mohammad said, holding the photos of the deceased family members.
"Five children, 10 women and two men were killed" but for the U.S. military this minor event in was just a drop in a 20-year ocean of human rights abuses and violence against civilians. According to Mohammad, villagers were told that "A senior Taliban commander was in the village and all those killed in the raids were Taliban insurgents" -- a baseless claim that implies that Taliban insurgents are comprised mainly of women and children.
Mohammad was injured in the strikes and has questioned Washington's claims to be defending democracy and human rights, asking, "Do 2-year-old children or old men and women fight the U.S. military?" Calling the airstrikes "carnage," of innocent villagers, the Afghan man said, "Ten years have passed and the United States has neither paid any compensation nor apologized."
Mohammad is not the only Afghan who has suffered due to U.S. military action against civilians during their 20-year presence in Afghanistan. Kandahar's Jalil Ahmad's father was killed 13 years ago but he has still received no compensation.
"I am 15 years old. It's been 13 years since my father was killed by the U.S. forces when I was two years old," Ahmad said, recalling how the Americans arrested his elder brother during the operations. The U.S. military, even after defeat, and three days before their evacuation from Afghanistan targeted a house in Kabul on Aug. 27, killing 10 people including seven children.
"Targeting and killing civilians including children shows the real face of the so-called defender of the human rights. Now the international community must bring them to justice," Mohammad said.