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Article posted Sep 06 2008, 2:30 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: NBC News Print

A heartbroken groom in Nangarhar

By Iqbal Sapand, NBC Producer in Kabul

"I thought American forces were in Afghanistan for our security," said Attiqullah, his voice trembling. "I could never have imagined that they would bomb my wedding party. They killed my entire family. I will never forgive them."

I sat with Attiqullah, who gives his age as around 15, near the graves where his family members are buried. He described what happened the day of July 6, 2008 -- his wedding day -- when his bride, two of his brothers and a sister, along with 45 relatives, were killed by a U.S. air strike on the remote village of Oghaza, in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan.

Attiqullah / NBC News
Attiqullah points out the bomb site

Attiqullah’s father had sent the entire family to the bride’s house the night before the wedding ceremony, as per Afghan custom. "The women were playing musical instruments and everyone was singing and dancing," Attiqullah said. "Then, according to our tradition, the entire groom’s family must escort the bride from her house to meet the groom. Early the next morning everyone set out on the way to my house, walking in a kind of procession through a mountain pass. And then, the unimaginable happened."

"It was 6:30 in the morning and there were 300 of my relatives and friends gathered at my house waiting for the bride to arrive," he said. Attiqullah, by now his eyes brimming with tears, was barely audible and wanted to appear strong in front of me. He was fighting hard not to lose control as he told his story so he avoided my eyes and drew circles in the mud as he answered my questions.

"I was watching the cooks cut the meats, prepare the potatoes, and wash the rice," he continued. "This was all for me and I felt so happy and proud. I was day-dreaming of welcoming my bride, wondering how she would feel as she entered my house and also how I would feel. I was counting the minutes to her arrival."

"Then there was a loud explosion on the top of the mountain," Attiqullah, crying, explained what happened. "I saw balls of fire explode in the sky, the mountain seemed to be burning. I ran from the house and started climbing. I ran faster and faster. I could hear the cries of children and women. And then the second explosion."

Attiqullah / NBC News
Attiqullah prays in the graveyard

Attiqullah’s house, a simple structure of mud, rock and wood, is built along the side of the mountain. It took him a half hour to run up the mountain, his uncle running with him.

"And then there was a third explosion," he said.

"Oh my God!" Attiqullah was now sobbing uncontrollably. " I saw my bride and my family members; I saw the pieces of their bodies scattered all over the place."

The U.S. military is investigating the incident and said in a statement: "Any loss of innocent life is tragic."

"I assure you we do not target civilians and that our forces go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties," U.S. military spokesman, 1st Lieutenant Nathan Perry said.

An investigation by the Afghan government concluded that 52 people died in that air attack - 45 women and children were killed. Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his government to pay $2,000 for each person killed and $1,000 to each injured person.

Attiqullah told me there was no offer of assistance to the family from coalition forces.

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Comments 1 - 17 of 17 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Aug 27 2009, 12:11 PM

74210 see this is why everyone hates americans
im proud to be canadian

Posted: Aug 27 2009, 12:11 PM

17350 I just got married. This guy has a right to hate us. Mistake or not.

Posted: Aug 27 2009, 6:37 PM

129138 Oops?

Posted: Aug 27 2009, 10:01 PM

71222 See, this why i agree with the American patriot who said, "Proud to be American; ashamed of my government."
Lol, Canada.

Posted: Aug 27 2009, 10:49 PM

96228 Nice. The proverbial canuck with the same old Canadian inferiority complex is posting about hating Americans. Also, why do Canadians always mention that they're anyone cares? Way to get in some low blows while it's hip to do so! Canada is such a bastion of intellectual excellence and original thought!

*Yawn* Riiiight.

The rest of it...well nothing anyone can say is worth shit since it won't bring his family back. I would be pissed too, well beyond pissed. Pissed enough to fight back, likely.

May we one day reach an amiable and mutually beneficial friendship. Until then, war is indeed hell. Remember the events that lead up to this.

Posted: Aug 28 2009, 12:59 AM

6845 The actions of my government do not speak for me. I cannot ever condone such an atrocity, similar acts, or the War on Terror in general. I do not support murder. I am an American, and I speak for the vast majority. So please, Canada, shut up.

Posted: Aug 28 2009, 1:50 AM

7273 hrrrmmm.... that sounds like an act of terrorism to me

if an american wedding procession got blown to s*** world war 3 would start....

that kid will probably go apply to be a suicide bomber, and if i were in that situation.... i think i would too


Posted: Aug 28 2009, 7:55 AM

118243 Wow, I love how one single Canadian voices his opinion and it is automatically taken to be the opinion of the Canada. I too am Canadian, but something you civvie americans tend to forget is that we are also fighting this war with you. I am an Afghanistan veteran, and for one, hate to hear ignorant civilians, on either side of the border, act as thought they speak for their entire country.

Firstly, of the American men and women in uniform that I have met, they have largely been very respectable and excellent people. Mistakes and awful, unfortunate accidents happen in wars. That is war. Please dont try to blame Canada because you are mad at the comments of a single Canadian. if anything, it just reinforces the stereotype in Canada that americans are selfish, and an overly proud people. I, for one, am glad that I know the Americans I do, and you can rest assured that they feel the same way about their Canadian comrades in arms.

We have a job to do, and are doing our best to get it done.

Posted: Aug 28 2009, 3:52 PM

21616 Hell ya stakhanov, im in the US Air force. Ive had the privilege of working with many Nato forces, including quite a few Canadian personnel. Its too bad civilians from our respective countries cant get along as well as we do.

Posted: Aug 28 2009, 10:30 PM

680 Fuck em. 52 less heathens that preach a religion of hate. Just a shame we couldn't have gotten the groom too.

Posted: Sep 01 2009, 3:42 AM

138202 I find it interesting how western culture has developed a sense that collateral damage is an atrocity. This is not to say that it is wrong to kill civilians of any kind, but any strife is going to lead to unnecessary deaths. If you can't understand this simple concept, then you are just that. Simple. It is also very simple-minded to take pride in such an atrocity.
As far as national pride is concerned, five minutes in a library will uncover atrocities committed by any country. Yes, even Canada.

Posted: Sep 05 2012, 11:23 AM

24171 Funny, because there is no proof of who it was... and these idiots barely know their ass from their hand, so it really could of been anyone. Canada is just going to sit there and act like they do not have forces over there. What about the UK? Or better yet... How about the Taliban? There is no proof whatsoever of what happened except that the guy heard explosions and saw fire balls... Who mortars all day, everyday, in that country... Afghans! If it was really American forces these people would have been paid out by American forces immediately. American military is pretty strict with just shooting off some rounds... there is a thing called accountability. You can barely shoot one single round off with out hell to pay. This is propaganda big time. I love it when people from America say... people wonder why everyone hates us... You ever live next to the Canadian border you will realize there are tons of Americans that hate Canadians. If you go to other countries you realize how really people are walking around not giving a shit about us and living their own life. I would say vast majority of the world just hates outsiders in general and that has been the consensus for the last 10000 years.

Posted: Sep 20 2012, 4:47 PM

173164 Yeah, support our troops.

Posted: Oct 13 2012, 12:11 PM

18677 I was born in the USA, raised in the USA.
America love it or leave it............I no longer live there nor shall I ever return.

Posted: Oct 30 2012, 12:12 AM

24171 Probably cause your parents were illegal immigrants, and didn't have the papers to prove your citizenship. So you most likely do not have the option to return.

Posted: Oct 05 2013, 4:30 PM

94172 i like to to quote Adolf Eichmann in situations like this " i was only Obeying orders" just no excuse none .....period

Posted: Oct 05 2013, 4:46 PM

94172 one day you'll piss off the wrong crew and they will dirty bomb your ass back to the stone age. After all if you become a bully you have to continue being a bully forever. They will never forget ,you will create vengeance from every atrocity you deliver. You have to stop every revenge attack 100% of the time and we all know that's impossible don't we. So wise up ! you voted these jerks in no one else but you ......if it comes back to bite you in your ass and statistically it will, then you only have yourself' to blame.
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