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October 22, 2001
Dozens of civilians killed in new US attack on Afghanistan

By Ali Abunimah


Dear NileMedia Reader: Ali Abunimah has been writing daily summaries of the coverage by Al-Jazira. We will ocassionally post some of his work. But he is a prolific writer and we suggest that you visit his site www.abunimah.org to get the latest from Al-Jazira. What follows is one of his latest dispatches.

Dozens of civilians killed in new US attack on Afghanistan
October 18, 2001
Summary of Al-Jazira coverage by Ali Abunimah

Dozens of civilians have been killed in the twelvth night of US bombing of the Afghan capital Kabul, Al-Jazira television reported today. New attacks were under way by early evening. The Al-Jazira correspondent in Kabul Taysir Al-Allouni said that several buildings were destroyed in a civilian area of the city with their occupants inside.

At least four US bombs hit the neighborhood of Makrurian in the southwest of Kabul, in one incident wiping out an entire family. Makrurian is an area of large apartment buildings built for workers during the Soviet occupation.

Eight large explosions were heard near the airport.

The television showed multi-story apartment blocks in Makrurian with huge craters and large piles of rubble near them. The television showed what appeared to be a dead child covered in dust and a blanket lying on a bed frame. Some of the standing buildings had broken windows and other damage.

Men, women and children were shown distraught and crying. One man covered in dust was pointing at a pile of rubble saying that his mother and several other relatives had been inside the building and that they had now disappeared. Many other people were reported missing.

In one building, an 18-year old man and his bride of a few days were killed along with their entire family. The television showed people all climbing all over the rubble and digging for survivors.

Al-Allouni said that people in Makrurian were angered by claims by the United Statesthat it was not targetting civilians, given the horrifying experience they were suffering. Al-Allouni said that the strike on Makrurian was causing more people to flee. The television showed people loading up old cars in prepartion to leave.

Al-Jazira quoted claims by Taliban officials that a refugee convoy had been bombed yesterday near the city of Jalalabad and that twelve people had been killed.

The Al-Jazira correspondent in Kandahar Yousef Al-Shouli carried out a filmed interview with the Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkil refuting rumors that he had left the country. Mutawakkil said that foreign humanitarian aid was welcome in Afghanistan but that all aid would have to be channeled through the Taliban government.

Al-Jazira quoted Red Cross workers in clinics on the Afghan-Pakistan border saying that they feared they would not be able to deal with the estimated 2000 refugees per day leaving Afghanistan and heading for the border. The television showed images of children playing near tents marked "UNHCR."

Other News:

Three Palestinians, including a 12-year old girl were killed today when Israeli tanks stormed the cities of Ramallah, Al-Bireh and Jenin in the occupied West Bank. In Jenin, Israeli tanks opened fire on the Ibrahim School, killing the girl which other media named as Rahim Ward, and injuring at least three other children and several adults.

The television showed many Israeli tanks driving through Palestinian neighborhoods and bulldozers building roadblocks. The television showed a Palestinian ambulance trying to squeeze between an Israeli tank and a bulldozer that were blocking a road.

The Al-Jazira correspondents in the occupied West Bank report that Israeli attacks against Palestinians are ongoing and that further severe escalations are widely expected. The Israeli press this morning is filled with calls for revenge against Palestinians following the assassination yesterday of Rehvaam Zeevi, the Israeli tourism minister who advocated the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians. Under severe threats from Israel, the Palestinian Authority has arrested three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine which claimed responsibility for the killing.

Al-Jazira routinely broadcasts statements and claims from the United States and Israeli governments, however I do not summarize these as they are widely available elsewhere. The purpose of these summaries is to provide reported factual details available through Al-Jazira that are unlikely to be widely reported in the US media.

Ali Abunimah