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Saturday, 13 July, 2002, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
US team probes Afghan wedding raid
Graves of bombing victims
The incident has severely strained US-Afghan relations
A US Air Force general has arrived in Afghanistan to oversee an investigation into the mistaken bombing of an Afghan wedding party earlier this month, in which local people say scores died.

The Afghan Government says almost 50 civilians were killed and more than 100 injured by the US aircraft.

The US say their gunship was fired on
American commanders have admitted that civilians died, but they have not yet said how many.

The US team will start work early next week, reviewing video and audio recordings.

It may interview people on the ground, including Afghan civilians and members of the US Special Forces.

Legal experts

Chief investigator General Anthony Przybyslawski arrived at Bagram air base late on Friday night accompanied by eight other investigators, US military spokesman Colonel Roger King said.

General Przybyslawski is the assistant director of operations at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Another two team members are due to arrive on Monday and the investigation will begin within two days, Colonel King added.

House damaged in US raid
Afghan casualties

Estimates range from 1,000 to 8,000. Figures include:

  • 10 October 2001: 76 reported killed in US raids
  • 13 October: Pentagon admits 2,000lb bomb hit residential area of Kabul
  • 15 October: UN reports five killed when bomb fell near market in Mazar-e-Sharif
  • 16 October: Red Cross warehouse in Kabul accidentally bombed
  • 22 October: Taleban claim 50-70 killed when bombs struck Kabul hospital

  • The US team includes individuals with backgrounds in legal affairs, special operations, public affairs and aviation.

    The Afghan Transitional Authority is also sending Major General Shir Mohammad Karimi to be an observer.

    The BBC's correspondent in Afghanistan Damian Grammaticas said the attack on the wedding party in the central province of Uruzgan on 1 July was a major blunder by US forces.

    According to Afghan authorities 48 people were killed and 117 injured in the attack.

    The Americans say an AC-130 gunship attacked after four anti-aircraft guns were seen firing at US planes, including from the compound where the wedding party was hit.

    The incident has severely strained Afghan-American relations and six local governors in parts of Afghanistan are now demanding that the US forces seek their permission before launching new combat operations.

    And earlier this week, a US Special Forces compound in Tarin Kot, not far from the scene of the bombing, came under grenade and small arms fire.

    The US military said it did not believe the attack was in retaliation for the incident with the wedding party.

    Key stories

    European probe


    See also:

    02 Jul 02 | South Asia
    04 Jul 02 | South Asia
    02 Jul 02 | South Asia
    20 Oct 01 | Americas
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