BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 29 July, 2002, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
US 'tried to hide bomb blunder'
Child in hospital after bombing raid in Uruzgan
Many of those hit in the raid were children

The Afghan Government has warned against any cover-up in the investigation into a US airstrike which killed nearly 50 people at a wedding party at the start of July.

The warning came amid reports that a preliminary United Nations investigation into the bombing had found that US officials removed vital evidence from the site after the incident.

The UN probe is said to have found that US troops cleaned the area - removing shrapnel, bullets and traces of blood.

According to The Times newspaper, the UN report says there was no corroboration of the US claim that the aircraft that launched the attack had first been targeted from the ground.

Weeks or hours?

The Afghan Government says that 48 civilians died and more than 100 others were injured when US planes bombed targets in central Uruzgan Province on 1 July.

House damaged in US raid
The Pentagon insists it chooses targets carefully
The American side said it needed several weeks to collect evidence and make a full report.

But locals say US officials arrived just hours after the raid, taking photographs and filming the scene and the bodies.

The UN investigation is also reported to have found that women at the bomb site had their hands tied.

Inquiry continues

A spokesman for Afghanistan's foreign ministry says it is premature to judge whether or not there has been a cover-up, as investigations are still ongoing, but warned there should be no cover-up from any side.

He said the Afghan Government is continuing to look into the matter, and says it is taking the allegations that women's hands were forcibly tied very seriously.

A spokesman for the United Nations in Afghanistan stressed the UN report is only preliminary and neither fully documented nor sufficiently substantiated.

But he added that an in-depth investigation would be completed to ensure that such a tragedy did not happen again, and that the protection of civilian lives becomes a primary concern in the fight against terror.

The American embassy in Kabul had no comment on the report.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's James Brookes
"We may see significant differences between this report and the final UN one"
US Defence Department's Dave Lapan
"With investigations of this sort it's very easy to jump to conclusions"
The BBC's Barnaby Mason
"From the start there were doubts about what had happened"

Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

21 Jul 02 | South Asia
16 Jul 02 | Americas
04 Jul 02 | South Asia
02 Jul 02 | South Asia
02 Jul 02 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes