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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 06:44 GMT 07:44 UK
Few clues at Afghan bombsite
Afghan villagers
Villagers showed investigators shrapnel and wounds
US and Afghan officials have visited the site of the apparent American bombing blunder in which many civilians were killed in central Afghanistan on Monday.


My heart is burning with anger - the Americans should be put on trial

Abdul Malik,
bridegroom

US investigators say they saw some blood, but no bodies or graves.

Afghan officials say some 40 people, many of them celebrating a wedding, were killed when US planes bombed Deh Rawud in Uruzgan Province.

American military officials have said the planes were repeatedly fired on by an anti-aircraft gun in the compound where the party was being held.

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said the US investigators "saw some evidence of damage, but there was no determination of what caused the damage".

"They did see some blood. They did not see any bodies or graves," she added.

The US investigators are expected to visit additional sites and talk to more people.

The Pentagon says the fact-finding team, led by an Afghan colonel, will take some time to draw up its report.

Earlier, Major Gary Tallman, a spokesman for the US investigators, said American ground troops has identified the compound where the wedding was held as the source of the anti-aircraft fire directed at US planes.

But he admitted that no wreckage of the gun had been found.

Coalition forces are in the area hunting fighters of the former Taleban regime and Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Afghans often fire weapons at weddings, but shaken survivors insist there had been no shooting for several hours before the raid.

'They were chasing us'

They say two rockets hit a house in the village of Kakarak where the wedding was being celebrated, and that people fleeing to safety were shot at from the air.

US investigators looking at a hole
Witnesses say this hole was made by a US bomb
"Everybody started running," Ahmed Jan Agha, one guest, told the Associated Press.

"The airplanes were shooting rockets at the people running away. They were chasing us."

Kako, a girl of eight, ran outside when she heard a loud bang.

"I saw the pool in the courtyard filled with blood, there were bodies lying all around," she told Reuters news agency.

"I saw a woman without a head."

Family wiped out

The bride and groom were originally thought to have died in the raid, but turned out to have been in different villages at the time of the attack.

Victim of the attack
Many of the victims were children
"My heart is burning with anger," the groom, Abdul Malik, told the Associated Press. "The Americans should be put on trial.

"They say they were looking for al-Qaeda - but did they find any dead bodies of al-Qaeda people here?

"We are all the right-hand men of [Afghan President] Hamid Karzai and we support his government."

Mr Malik lost 25 members of his family in the attack, including his father and several brothers and sisters.

Afghan protest

The Afghan president has protested to the US military authorities, and urged them to be more careful in their targeting to prevent any more civilian deaths.

US President George W Bush has offered his condolences but civilian losses are leaving Afghans increasingly perplexed and angry, says the BBC's Kate Clark in Kabul.


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

02 Jul 02 | South Asia
02 Jul 02 | South Asia
12 Feb 02 | South Asia
06 Feb 02 | South Asia
23 Dec 01 | South Asia
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