- KABUL (Reuters) - Both the
bride and groom were killed when U.S. forces bombed a wedding party in
Afghanistan, a local aid agency said on Wednesday.
- The Afghan government has said 40 people were killed,
many of them women and children, and around 100 wounded when U.S. planes
attacked a remote village in central Afghanistan in the early hours of
- The government said wedding guests near the village of
Deh Rawud were firing into the air -- a tradition in Pashtun weddings --
when they were mistakenly bombed.
- The U.S. military says it responded to sustained, hostile
fire from the ground and has launched a joint investigation with the Afghan
- "The bride and groom were both killed," said
Razique Samadi, managing director of the Afghan Development Association
which has more than 40 staff in Uruzgan province where the attack took
- "Our people on the ground said it was a mistake
on both sides," he told Reuters. "The wedding guests knew there
was a coalition operation going on in the area, still they fired their
guns into the air, to celebrate the wedding."
- Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said on Tuesday
an entire family of 25 people was killed.
- "No single person was left alive," he said.
- Samadi, whose association runs agriculture, irrigation
and women's training projects in the rugged and mountainous province, said
the family was a prominent one.
- "The groom was a nephew of Mullah Anwar, who is
famous in the province," he said. "Anwar is a friend of President
- Karzai expressed sadness over the incident and called
on Afghans to refrain from using weapons to celebrate weddings.
- The United States launched air strikes in Afghanistan
last year against the al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, blamed for the
September 11 attacks on Washington and New York, and the group's Taliban
- Since then its ground forces have been searching Afghanistan
for bin Laden and his followers, as well for Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad
Omar, who was born in Uruzgan.
- But there have been several incidents of casualties due
to "friendly fire," some in Uruzgan.
- U.S. bombing killed around 30 people in the provincial
capital Tarin Kowt last October, officials and residents said.
- U.S. forces also killed around 15 people in the same
province in January in a firefight which they later admitted was "ill
advised." Afghan officials said the Americans had mistakenly killed
an anti-Taliban commander and many of his men.
- In May, the U.S. army rejected reports it had mistakenly
attacked a wedding party after the Afghan Islamic Press reported U.S. planes
had pounded the village of Bul Khil in Khost province after mistaking traditional
firing for an attack.