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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 14:00 UK

Eyewitness: 'Anger in Kunduz'

Troops inspect the site where villagers reportedly died when US jets bombed fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban, at Kunduz, on 5 September 2009
There are reports that many of the victims are civilian

Sameer Ahmad Tahseen, a Kabul university student, was at his home in Kunduz province when dozens of people were killed by a Nato air strike last Friday.

He describes the anger among local residents following the attack.

I heard about the incident in the mosque. But the reports were all confused and it wasn't clear what exactly happened.


Later on I learned more details from my father who is the editor in chief of a local newspaper.

I went to the main hospital in Kunduz straight away. The security was tight, they were not letting anyone in - only close relatives of the injured. There were many villagers from the village where the strike happened. There must have been around 60 to 80 people gathered there.

When I asked them about the number of injured people, they said there were around 20 people with severe burns.

'Disturbing' sight

People around here think that the civilians killed did know the insurgents. They are believed to be relatives, friends or neighbours of the Taliban. It is said that some of the victims received phone calls to let them know about the opportunity to get free oil.

This is bad news for us as Kunduz is already becoming the Helmand of the North

There is a rumour that 18 members of one family were killed in the attack - all from the same village. Several other families lost many family members too.

I came back to Kabul a couple of days ago and on my way I went to the place of the incident. It's really disturbing, especially that this happened during the holy month of Ramadan. Ordinary people are really angry because they believe that most victims are villagers.

The Taliban will use this as an opportunity to gather wider support in the area. Kunduz has a high number of Taliban sympathisers anyway and it will probably see an increase in Taliban activities. This is bad news for us as Kunduz is already becoming the Helmand of the North in terms of Taliban influence.

This was a sheer act of stupidity and arrogance by Nato. Why didn't they communicate with the local police department? This attack would have been successful only if they had managed to avoid civilian casualties.

The issue of civilian casualties makes every Afghan angry, including myself. They are going down the same route as the Soviet troops. It is a very effective way to spread hatred among ordinary people and to give the Taliban the opportunity to recruit more people.




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