U.S. inquiry shows Afghan raid killed 30 people: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An inquiry by the U.S. military has concluded that U.S. air strikes on an Afghan village in August killed more than 30 civilians, far more than U.S. commanders have acknowledged, The New York Times said on Tuesday.

The August 22 air strike on Azizabad village outraged Afghans and opened up a rift between the coalition forces on the one hand and the Afghan government and the United Nations on the other, which both said more than 90 civilians were killed.

In the days after the raid, the U.S. military said the strike had killed 30 to 35 militants but it said it planned to reopen the investigation into the incident after cell phone video emerged showing bodies of people said to have been killed in the strike.

“The military investigator’s report found that more than 30 civilians — not five to seven as the military has long insisted — died in the airstrikes against a suspected Taliban compound in Azizabad,” The New York Times said.

It cited two U.S. military officials, whom it did not name, for the report.

“According to the new report, fewer than 20 militants died in the raid, which was conducted jointly by American and Afghan forces, and in subsequent airstrikes carried out by an AC-130 gunship in support of the allied ground forces,” the Times said.

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