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Granai airstrike

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Title: Granai airstrike  
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Granai airstrike

Granai airstrike
Date May 4, 2009
Location Granai, Bala Buluk District, Farah Province, Afghanistan
Casualties and losses
Estimate: 86–147 killed, mostly women and children

The Granai airstrike, sometimes called the Granai massacre, refers to the killing of approximately 86 to 147 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, by an airstrike by a US Air Force B-1 Bomber on May 4, 2009, in the village of Granai (sometimes spelled Garani or Gerani) in Farah Province, south of Herat, Afghanistan.[1][2][3][4][5]

The United States admitted significant errors were made in carrying out the airstrike, stating "the inability to discern the presence of civilians and avoid and/or minimize accompanying collateral damage resulted in the unintended consequence of civilian casualties".[6][7][8]

The Afghan government has said that around 140 civilians were killed, of whom 22 were adult males and 93 were children.[2][3] Afghanistan's top rights body has said 97 civilians were killed, most of them children.[2] Other estimates range from 86 to 147 civilians killed.[6][9] An earlier probe by the US military had said that 20–30 civilians were killed along with 60–65 insurgents.[2] A partially released American inquiry stated "no one will ever be able conclusively to determine the number of civilian casualties that occurred".[6] The Australian has said that the airstrike resulted in "one of the highest civilian death tolls from Western military action since foreign forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001".[10]

Airstrike video

A combat camera video of the airstrike was made by the bomber aircraft involved. When the Pentagon investigation on the incident was released in 2009, it did not include the video.[6][11] In 2010, Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower in the Pentagon Papers case, called for President Obama to release the video of the airstrike online.[12][13]

By May 2010, WikiLeaks had an encrypted copy of the video it had received from U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and was attempting to decrypt it.[14][15][16] In a March 2013 statement, Julian Assange said that, while the file was still in their possession, WikiLeaks had successfully decrypted the video and described it as documenting "a massacre, a war crime".[17] Assange blamed former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg for taking the video, who said he had deleted it along with 35,000 other files when he left WikiLeaks in September 2010. (However, this WorldHeritage page http://articles/Daniel_Domscheit-Berg says the number is 3500, "WikiLeaks and other sources later confirmed the destruction of over 3500 unpublished whistleblower communications with some communications containing hundreds of documents...") To date, the video has never been publicly released.

See also


  1. ^ Campbell, Matthew (11 April 2010). "Whistleblowers on US ‘massacre’ fear CIA stalkers".  
  2. ^ a b c d de Luce, Dan (8 June 2009). "We failed to follow bombing rules: Pentagon".  
  3. ^ a b Shalizi, Hamid; Graff, Peter (16 May 2009). "U.S. strikes killed 140 villagers: Afghan probe".  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Boone, Jon; MacAskill, Ewen; Tran, Mark (6 May 2009). "US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Farmer, Ben (11 April 2010). "'"Wikileaks 'to release video of US strike on Afghan civilians.  
  7. ^ Tran, Mark (3 June 2009). "US military admits errors in air strikes that killed scores of Afghan civilians". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  8. ^  
  9. ^ Denselow, James (23 June 2010). "Hail to the whistleblowers". The Guardian (London). 
  10. ^ More than 100' die in US-led air strike in Afghanistan"'".  
  11. ^ de Luce, Dan (18 June 2009). "US military debates release of Afghan air strike probe".  
  12. ^ Ellsberg, Daniel. "Obama Should Release the Garani Massacre Video to the American Public Immediately". 17 June 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  13. ^ With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information, Democracy now, June 17, 2010 .
  14. ^  
  15. ^  
  16. ^  
  17. ^ "WikiLeaks has more US secrets, Assange says". March 5, 2013.  

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