Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dozens of Women and Children reportedly killed in U.S. air strike

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/6/2009) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called for an “impartial” probe into reports that dozens of women and children were killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan on Tuesday. That civilian death toll may be the highest since the entry of American forces into Afghanistan in 2001.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is scheduled to discuss the issue of civilian casualties with President Barack Obama today in Washington, D.C.SEE: U.S. Raids Said to Kill Afghan Civilians (NY Times)

Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement:“The scope and impact of this tragic incident necessitate an impartial investigation to determine who is at fault and what changes need to be made to existing policy in the region. Our nation and its armed forces must do everything possible to ensure that such tragedies are never repeated.”

In 2008, an Afghan government commission determined that a U.S. air strike killed 90 civilians. American officials initially said no civilians were killed in the attack, but later concluded 33 civilians died.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.