Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 19, 2008

Taliban Offensive

There seems to be a major Taliban offensive going on in Afghanistan. This coincides with the Afghan Day of Independence which President Karzai is celebrating at an undisclosed location.

There was a suicide attack by car yesterday on the U.S. Camp Salerno in Khost city east of Kabul near the border to Pakistan. That attack killed mostly Afghan workers waiting for being searched to enter the camp. A wave of attacks on the camp followed after midnight. It was repelled.

Also east of Kabul, but in a different location, a French patrol came under fire:

Ten French soldiers have been killed in fighting with Taliban insurgents east of the Afghan capital, an Afghan military official said on Tuesday.

The soldiers, part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), were engaged in a major battle with insurgents that began on Monday about 30 miles (50 km) east of the Kabul, he said.

There are no details yet. I wonder how the French will react to this. How (un)popular is that war in France? Please let us know in the comments about the reactions you see in the French media. 

Posted by b on August 19, 2008 at 06:57 AM | Permalink

Comments

The following was published in the Financial Times on Aug. 12 before I wrote about the Road war.

I only found it now and its behind (free) subscription walls, so some lengthy excerpts. In short - the situation is worse than I thought.

Taliban attacks Nato by choking supplies

Country managers at western security companies that hire out teams of armed Afghans and foreigners to protect convoys operating in the south say the situation has deteriorated sharply.

“In the summer months, I would expect to be attacked once or twice a week,” said one manager, unwilling to speak on the record.

“Last week, we were caught up in an attack on a convoy of fuel trucks on a road we are working on. It looked like a war zone, with five diesel tanks burst open by [rocket propelled grenades] and burning diesel flooding out over the road.”

The security companies are circumspect about how many tankers they lose, but he said “multiple dozens” have been lost in the south each month during the summer. In June, fighters set upon a convoy of more than 50 tankers, setting fire to them about 65km south of Kabul.
...
According to British officials in Lashkar Gar, the capital of Helmand province, the 10 largest fuel transport groups now have to spend a combined $2m a month on protecting the 5,000 trucks they operate. Kabul is now encouraging the companies to help fund its efforts to reclaim control over the road network.

The eastern provinces of Zabul and Ghazni have been particularly badly hit by attacks on bridges, with local officials saying they have lost four bridges and around 30 culverts in the past three months.

Matthew Leeming, a Kabul-based fuel trader, said it had become increasingly difficult to get convoys of essential goods through to more distant bases.

“The Taliban’s new tactics of blowing bridges between Kabul and Kandahar, forcing convoys to slow down and become softer targets, is causing severe problems to companies trying to supply Kandahar from Kabul,” he said.
...
Nato spokespeople say that the attacks on the alliance’s supply lines have not affected its operations, but this year it sought to open alternative routes from ­central Asia, rather than rely on equipment coming in through Pakistan. Forty fuel trucks were destroyed in March near the crossing between the two countries.

However, a western security executive told the FT that for a period last summer some military bases in the south were almost running on empty, “stopping all non-essential movement and offensive operations because of fuel shortages”.
...
At Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Helmand province, logisticians like to have 30 days’ fuel reserves but last month supplies fell to seven days.

On July 13, Dutch commanders in Tirin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province, were so anxious for the delivery of fuel supplies that had been delayed in Kandahar that they dispatched their own protection for a convoy of 13 trucks. Despite the deployment of coalition air and ground forces, the convoy came under attack and two tankers were destroyed.

Posted by: b | Aug 19, 2008 7:25:09 AM | 1

From Europapress (spanish). Sarkozy has confirmed 10 dead and 21 wounded.

link

The incident ocurred 50 km northeast of Kabul in the Sarobi valley.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 19, 2008 7:30:15 AM | 2

From the same report it seems like it's a relatively recent (this same month) deployment of 700 french troops in the Sarobi/Kapisa valleys. These new troops were sent on the will of Sarkozy on increasing the support on the US crusade on Afghanistan. So I don't think it's going to make Sarkozy more popular that it already is in France.

If they arrived just a couple of weeks and received such large lose it seems like they were quite ill prepared or uninformed about the real strength of the afghan resistence in the area.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 19, 2008 7:37:38 AM | 3

AP

The French soldiers from the 8th infantry parachute regiment were on a reconnaissance mission in the Surobi district, an area known as a militant redoubt about 30 miles east of the Afghan capital.

Qazi Suliman, the district chief in Surobi, said the ambush sparked a three-hour gunbattle. French president Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed that 10 were killed and 21 wounded in the clashes.

An Afghan official said that four of those soldiers had been kidnapped by insurgents and killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't supposed to release the information.

Parachute regiment - they are supposed somewhat elite troops. 31 killed/wounded is quite a loss - where was the air support?

Posted by: b | Aug 19, 2008 7:43:33 AM | 4

What is the EU-NATO air support capability there? May be the britains have some planes based around there. I think to remember that the germans also had some planes but would only be used for reconnaissance. If all the air support is provied by the US there could have been comunications problems with the NATO controllers (there was an article complaining yesterday about the need to put the US and NATO troops under an unified, US of course, control). It could be a combination of new NATO troops being in a (unexpected?) hot area and miscomunication between the two control structures.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 19, 2008 7:51:36 AM | 5

le monde diplomatique

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2008 10:14:15 AM | 6

People are asking about air support capability here. But hasn't the air support been the primary cause of civilian deaths? When we hear of large civilians causalities, it's usually the results of air bombings. The NATO/ISAF/US strategy has been of sending too few troops and instead heavily depending on air support for protection, leading to a lot of civilians getting caught in the middle.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Aug 19, 2008 10:30:40 AM | 7

"where was the air support?"
US air support is for US troops, not for lackeys and vassals.

Impressive article from FT. They're in trouble if Afghanistan begins to look like a Mad Max movie.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 19, 2008 10:48:47 AM | 8

People are asking about air support capability here. But hasn't the air support been the primary cause of civilian deaths? When we hear of large civilians causalities, it's usually the results of air bombings. The NATO/ISAF/US strategy has been of sending too few troops and instead heavily depending on air support for protection, leading to a lot of civilians getting caught in the middle.

When one follows the reports it is usual that some locals or Talibs take refuge in a home, the U.S. forces tend to blow that home up.

But with 30 casualties of French elite troop this sounds much more like an ambush or open engagement with a company or more Talibs. That would justify air support and is less likely to involve civilians.

The new AFP report says they had air support:

Around 100 insurgents attacked a patrol containing French and Afghan troops, said NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), under which about 3,000 French soldiers serve.

The fighting began Monday and lasted into Tuesday, it said in a statement.

"The initial patrol was reinforced with quick reaction forces, close air support and mobile medical teams. During the engagement a large number of insurgents were killed," ISAF said.

"There was fierce fighting throughout the night," said Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, who said at least 13 Taliban fighters, including a Pakistani national, had been killed in the fighting.

One issue I find very disturbing. This was a joint patrol with Afghan forces. Not a word in any piece I have read about Afghan's killed or wounded.

Did the ran away? Or are they not worth being mentioned?

(I assume the second)

Posted by: b | Aug 19, 2008 11:18:40 AM | 9

Whatever happened to the Afghan troops, it means 13 dead Talibans vs 10 French. That's not the kind of ratio you want to see in counter-insurgency and guerrilla warfare.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 19, 2008 11:48:11 AM | 10

That's not the kind of ratio you want to see in counter-insurgency and guerrilla warfare.

maybe we aren't hearing about the afghan dead because it would make the ratio glaringly worse. there very likely could have been more afghan troops than french. a 2 to 1 ratio is not something they would want reported.

Posted by: annie | Aug 19, 2008 12:03:25 PM | 11

"Did the ran away? Or are they not worth being mentioned?"

Or are they too shocked by the possibility their local forces betrayed them?

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 19, 2008 12:25:17 PM | 12

figaro

Medvedev extends his condolences to Sarkozy (at the end of the list).

Posted by: alabama | Aug 19, 2008 12:28:02 PM | 13

entretien pascal boniface

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2008 12:39:38 PM | 14

Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan military operations against the kafirs, munafiqs and the worshippers of Idols

This page is updated throughout the day as new operations are reported.

19-08-2008

Mujahideen operations against the enemies of Islam terrorists in Afghanistan are reported to Theunjustmedia.com by the official Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan spokesmen Qari Muhammad Yousuf and Zabihuallah Mujahid by e-mails.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All Praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of all that exists and may peace and prayers be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions in entirety

16 Mujahideen collectively carry out Martyrdom Operation killing 30 American invader terrorists in Khost Monday night 18-08-2008, 15 courageous Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, entered American invader base, where a large number of terrorists live, in Sarsa Bagh airport near Khost city capital of Khost province.

In the attack firefighting continued through out the night, during which 30 American terrorists were killed, two helicopters, eight tanks and a number of military vehicles were destroyed, huge explosions could be heard also fires in the base could be seen. We ask Allah to accept our brothers among martyrs in Eelleyeen (high rank in the paradise). All praise and gratitude are due to Allah.

American liars are claiming that they were able to martyr all the Mujahideen before they entered the base, this is not true out of the sixteen Mujahideen who took part in this martyrdom operation, only one was martyred before entering the base, the other Mujahideen were able to enter the base.

If this claim of the American liars of martyring all Mujahideen before they enter the base is true, then we ask American liars to explain to the world, who was it that they were fighting inside their base thought out the night, we ask them to also explain the loud blasts which the people could hear and the fires which were ignited inside the base.

This was a great operation, first of its kind where sixteen Mujahids collectively launched martyrdom operation, after the attack the enemy of Islam bombarded the near by area, in which few civilians were martyred. Reported by Zabihuallah Mujahid

20 French invader terrorists killed, the French coward army retaliates by bombardment in which 20 innocent civilians martyred in Paktika Tuesday midnight 19-08-08 at approximately 12:45 am local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ambushed a foot patrolling unit of French invaders in Wazben area of Sarobi district of Paktika province. In the the attack twenty invader terrorists were killed and many were wounded. After the enemy of Islam bombarded the surrounding area in which twenty civilians including women, children were martyred and many were wounded. Reported by Zabihuallah Mujahid

11 Canadian invader terrorists killed in Kandahar Tuesday morning 19-08-08 at approximately 8 am local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up a foot patrolling unit of Canadian invaders in bazaar of Panjawai district of Kandahar province. In the explosions eleven Canadian terrorists were killed and many were wounded. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

Mortar shells fired at American invaders base in Kandahar Tuesday morning 19-08-08 at approximately 8 am local time, Mujahideen fired three mortar shells at American invaders base in Malang Kariz area of Mewad district of of Kandahar province, where a large number of American terrorists live, however the damages and casualties to the enemy of Islam could not be confirmed in there entireties. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

6 British invader terrorists killed in Helmand Tuesday morning 19-08-08 at approximately 7:45 am local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ambushed a foot patrolling units of British invaders and their puppets in Mermanddab area of Grishk district of Helmand province. In the ambush three British and three puppet terrorists were killed and many were wounded. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

1 tank of American invaders blown up in Ghazni Tuesday 19-08-2008 at approximately 10 am local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmines blew up a tank of American invaders in Bazk area of Maqer district of Ghazni province. In the explosion the tank was completely destroyed and four invader terrorists in it were killed or wounded. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

5 tanks American invaders destroyed in Paktika Tuesday morning 19-08-08, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ambushed a convoy of American invaders in Wazben area of Sarobi district of Paktika province. In the ambush fighting started which continued for lasted for two hours in which five tanks were completely destroyed and all the invaders and in its were killed or wounded. Reported by Zabihuallah Mujahid

13 puppet terrorists killed in Nemroz Monday night 18-08-2008 at approximately 10 pm local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with heavy and light weapons attacked puppet police checkpoint in Jargi area Char Bolak district of Nemroz province. In the attack the checkpoint was captured, thirteen puppet terrorists were killed and their vehicle and arms were Mujahideen booty. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf

District headquarter captured in Parwan Monday night 18-08-2008 at approximately 10:15 local time, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with heavy and light weapons attacked Ghorband district headquarter in Parwan province. In the attack a firefight started which continued for two hours, during which the district headquarter and all posts of this district were captured, three puppet terrorists were killed, others fled from the area, two vehicles and stock of arms and military equipment were Mujahideen booty. Reported by Zabihuallah Mujahid

6 puppet police terrorists killed and 1 vehicle blown up in Jalalabad Monday 18-08-2008, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with remote controlled landmine blew up a vehicle of puppet police in Hadi farm area of Jalalabad city. The landmines completely destroyed the vehicle and six puppet terrorists in it were killed or wounded. Reported by Zabihuallah Mujahid

These operations were part of Ibrat (lesson) Plan, which was declared by Mulla Birader (may Allah protect him), deputy of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

O, Revealer of The Book, Mover of the clouds, Destroy the co-coalition the enemies of Islam terrorists

O Allah, make them and their weaponry a booty for the Mujahideen

O Allah, you are our support and you are our only Victor; by your order we attack; by your order we retreat and by your order we fight

O Allah, the sky is yours; the earth is yours; the sea is yours, so whatever forces they have in the sky, drop them. Destroy all their forces in earth and sink all their forces in sea

O Allah, deal with them for verily they can never disable you

O Allah, retaliate upon them, afflict them like you did to Pharaoh and his nation

O Allah afflict their country with floods, make them in need of money and food and persons

O Allah defeat them, destroy them O the All-Strong, the All-Mighty

Allahu Akbar

"Honor, Power and Glory belong to Allah, His Messenger and the believers, but the hypocrites know not"

Theunjustmedia.com

Posted by: informer | Aug 19, 2008 1:58:11 PM | 15

Paul Rogers has a good article at openDemocracy that, among other things, talks about the supply problems in Afghanistan.
He points out that an as yet unexploited weak point in the supply lines is Karachi, where 90% of supplies are routed.

Posted by: Dick Durata | Aug 19, 2008 2:14:21 PM | 16

@Dick D - Karachi will taken care of - Aug 11 - New al-Qaeda focus on NATO supplies

Now, according to Asia Times Online contacts, the target area is being shifted to the southern port city of Karachi, where almost 90% of NATO's shipments land, including vital oil. From this teeming financial center, 80% of the goods go to Torkham in Khyber Agency on their way to the Afghan capital of Kabul. About 10% go to Chaman, then on to the northern Afghan city of Kandahar. The remaining NATO supplies arrive in Afghanistan by air and other routes.

An al-Qaeda member told Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity, "The single strategy of severing NATO's supply lines from Pakistan is the key to success. If the blockage is successfully implemented in 2008, the Western coalition will be forced to leave Afghanistan in 2009, and if implemented next year, the exit is certain by 2010."

Several al-Qaeda cells have apparently been activated in Karachi to monitor the movement of NATO supply convoys.

don't believe the "al-Qaeda" drivel, but the neo-Talibs will certainly think of that choke point.

Meanwhile - NATO manages to destroy its alternative supply line through Russia ...

Posted by: b | Aug 19, 2008 3:09:34 PM | 17

what an unholy fucking mess

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 19, 2008 3:14:11 PM | 18

informer's post at 15 raises many important issues. Not least of those is the name given to the warriors fighting for a free Afghanistan. Taliban was the name given to a previous regime and whilst it is likely that some of the initial resistance comprised members of the old Afghani regime this is no longer the case. These courageous Afghanis have been fighting USuk for longer than the Iraqi nationalists who are no longer referred to as Saddamists or Ba'athists because they aren't fighting for the restoration of the Ba'ath regime they are fighting for a free and independent Iraq. It is the same with the resistance fighters in Afghanistan.

The invaders continue to use Taliban to describe them because that arouses the lies about Aghanistan's connection with the World Trade Centre action, but we shouldn't.
In the piece Informer posted, the resistance self describes as mujahideen which is one way to identify these brave people but since it too carries an aura of western anti-Islamic prejudice I am am going to use Afghani Freedom Fighters, or the Afghani Resistance to describe these forces from now on.
Others can do as they wish but Taleban only covers a small grouping within a much larger force. If anyone does know a more suitable collective noun I'd be interested to hear it.
This may seem unimportant to many but it isn't. The selective labelling of foreign groupings is one of the most powerful weapons the empire has to get pre-occupied citizens on their side. I don't want to help them with that.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 19, 2008 4:56:56 PM | 19

b, why would the Asia Times label a person al-Qaeda when that person is not al-Qaeda? The Asia Times certainly isn't Western mainstream media, or possessing a pro West bias.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Aug 19, 2008 5:28:13 PM | 20

link to the fake video... http://theunjustmedia.com/clips/afgha/July08/fake/fake.htm

journalist Syed Saleeem Shazhad of Asia Times online propaganda exposed

Please first read the statement of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

official spokesperson, Zabihuallah Mujahid below before watching this video

Here is a small clip from the fake video, the original video is fourteen minutes and nine seconds.

01-07-08

Recently journalist Syed Saleeem Shazhad of Asia Times online released a video, the video shows Syed Saleem Shazhad interviewing a person who is claiming to be a commander of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, for the provinces of Nooristan and Kunar. Theunjustmedia forwarded this video to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan official spokesperson, Zabihuallah Mujahid, after watching the video this is what he had to say.

"In Nooristan and Kunar provinces, we do not have any commander with Ziaur Rahman name, nor do we identify the person in this video, who is alleging to be a commander of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Islamic Emirate commander for the provinces of Nooristan and Kunar is Malvi Abdul Raheem. Before, any commander or fighter of Islamic Emirate speaks to a journalist, he must first get permission from the Media department of Islamic Emirate, also any journalist who enters Afghanistan must first get permission from the Islamic Emirate, cause more than sixty percent of Afghanistan in under the control of Islamic Emirate.

Syed Saleeem Shazhad who is claiming in this video to have travel in different parts of Afghanistan, Islamic Emirate, rejects this claim of his. The fake commander in this video also claims that there is money on his head, here we like to clear out that all commanders of Islamic Emirate on who's heads the American invaders and its allies have put up money, Islamic Emirate has their name list and this fake commander name is not on that list." Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan official spokesperson Zabihuallah Mujahid

Theunjustmedia is puzzled at why would this journalist make a video and then tell the world that it is the Taliban, what is he trying to achieve with this lie, who is paying him to lie to the world about the Taliban and to spread information which is not true. We advice the concern citizens of this world to be aware of Syed Saleeem Shazhad who is a deceitful journalist, who's actions are tarnishing the noble profession of journalism.

Please forward this information to as many people as you can, also those websites and forums which posted this fake Taliban video, please let your readers know that this video is not of the Taliban movement but a propaganda. Thank You

Theunjustmedia.com

Posted by: informer | Aug 19, 2008 7:28:15 PM | 21

The French soldiers from the 8th infantry parachute regiment were on a reconnaissance mission in the Surobi district, an area known as a militant redoubt about 30 miles east of the Afghan capital.

A militant "redoubt" 30 miles from Kabul? Shades of the old Iron Triangle!

This was a joint patrol with Afghan forces. Not a word in any piece I have read about Afghan's killed or wounded. Did they run away?

Or shoot their erstwhile NATO allies in the back and THEN run away? It's happened in Iraq.

Posted by: Peter Principle | Aug 19, 2008 9:27:48 PM | 22

equally likely is that afgahni army casualties weren't considered of sufficient importance to warrant putting in the story. A dead unwhite is just a dead unwhite, only important if one is waging a war measured by body count. In that case all unwhite corpses regardless of affiliation are added up multiplied by n (where n is the unspoken but agreed to constant of USuk inability), then trumpeted from the rooftops as proof of 'victory'.

Posted by: Debs is Dead | Aug 19, 2008 11:03:57 PM | 23

Tora,">http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/IF07Dh01.html">Tora, Tora, Tora!!

The NeoZi.con's will steamroller over the Afghan Resistance like a hot knife through the Pillbury dough boy, once the elections are past and Supreme Imam McCain elevated.

The PNAC is just the America arm of the global NeoZi.con One World Order Conspiracy.
Wait until China has the NAFTA Super Corridor in, from Mexico clear up into Canada.
Our kids will wear Saudi dogcollars, and bark in Mandarin around the OWO mil bases.

Posted by: Chris Tucker | Aug 20, 2008 12:58:21 AM | 24

e I am am going to use Afghani Freedom Fighters, or the Afghani Resistance

That's nice of you Debs, but mightn't the Pakistani, Emirati & Saudis among them might take offense?

Posted by: rbv | Aug 20, 2008 2:40:06 AM | 25

this is an english edition of the program "Reporters", from Frace 24 channel. The reporter was embedded with french troops in Jairez, west of Kabul.
It gives a good panorama of the region, and the relationship between french and afghan soldiers.

The afghans just look like good fellow farmers with guns (ie, no soldiers at all). There's a point in a road, when they almost hit a IED, and the afghans refuse to go on inside the vehicles and prefer to go on foot(!).

These guys are chasing ghosts there...

Posted by: rudolf | Aug 20, 2008 7:32:05 AM | 26

Re: post on supply route issues, Comment #17--

The US/NATO second supply route is through Russia, iirc, and haven't the US and NATO decided to piss them off?

Very strategic thinking.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 20, 2008 11:17:07 AM | 27

chris, your link...

In 2005 and 2006, the US and Japanese governments drew up a major agreement on the reorganization of US forces in Japan. [1] It was a complex deal, but the bottom line was integrating the forces of the two countries, especially their intelligence and command functions, and transforming Japan's "Self-Defense Forces" into a junior partner of the United States in the "global war on terror"

why waste hyperventilation over this non story?

Posted by: annie | Aug 20, 2008 11:52:38 AM | 28

missle strike reported in NW pakistan

Missiles fired from Afghanistan hit a militant hideout in Pakistan's tribal belt Wednesday, killing at least eight people including some foreign extremists, security officials said.....


Missiles destroyed a suspected militant hide-out near the Afghan border Wednesday where foreign insurgents were known to frequent, killing at least five people, Pakistani officials said.....Initial reports from the area indicated between five and 10 people were killed and several others wounded...

There was no claim of responsibility for the apparent attack. However, U.S. forces operate aircraft armed with missiles along the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border.

Waliur Rehman, a shopkeeper in Wana, said he heard the familiar sound of a drone at about 7:30 p.m. followed by two explosions.

"The planes are still in the air. People are scared and are staying indoors," Rehman told the AP by telephone.

...


Pakistan's tribal regions such as South Waziristan are believed to provide sanctuary to pro-Taliban insurgents fighting in Afghanistan as well as members of al-Qaida. Both Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri are believed to be hiding in the rugged and lawless tribal regions along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Last week, a suspected U.S. missile strike on a militant training camp in another area of South Waziristan killed at least nine people, including foreigners, Pakistani officials said.

...

There has been a series of missile attacks on militants in Pakistan in recent weeks attributed to US-led coalition forces or Central Intelligence Agency drones based in Afghanistan.

Posted by: annie | Aug 20, 2008 2:43:33 PM | 29

This certainly would explain the high casualties:

French troops 'killed by Nato jets'

France's Le Monde newspaper quoted French soldiers who had survived the ambush near Kabul on Monday saying they were hit in a "friendly fire" incident.

The soldiers told the newspaper they waited for four hours for back-up after being ambushed.

But when Nato planes finally arrived they hit French troops after missing their target, the newspaper quoted the soldiers as saying.

A Nato official said on Wednesday: "I have nothing substantive to confirm or deny this particular suggestion.

I'd call that a non-denial denial.

Posted by: b | Aug 21, 2008 6:10:39 AM | 30

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