November 16, 2012 Note
The additions/revisions/confirmations in green text below (primarily in the casualty box) are a result of information revealed, directly or indirectly, by the reports (and Tweets) of journalists who attended the Army’s November 5-13, 2012, UCMJ Article 32 hearing for SSG Robert Bales at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state (see the foot of my April post’s Comment 17 for more). There was remote Article 32 hearing testimony (electronically transmitted from Kandahar city) by a selection of Panjwai survivors (primarily those shot at the Haji Mohammad Naim home in Alkozai), but no direct testimony from adult Afghan women, and only relayed, and apparently contested, testimony (to the Army in June) from one of two eyewitness widows. (The other widow – Nazar Mohammad’s wife Maryam – has never been interviewed by the non-Afghan media, despite the multiple traumas she experienced that night. The only witness who’s been heard from about the Alkozai deaths of Maryam’s husband and 2-year-old daughter Khatima/Toraki – in one media interview, and in the Article 32 hearing at the request of the defense – is Nazar Mohammad’s 7-year-old daughter Noorbinak/Robina.) Article 32 hearing media reports revealed for the first time, among other things, the names of the nine adult victims (eight killed, one wounded) on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (as listed in two Associated Press tweets – 1, 2; see screen captures below); the names of all six wounded on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (summarized in the new paragraph above the casualty box below); and, per her father, via Mamoon Durrani on November 7, the identity of the (original mystery) DOD-identified wounded Panjwai victim referenced in the post’s title. Given its post-July updates, as first indicated in Comment 8 below, this post could now – with one DOD-generated mystery solved as a result of the Article 32 hearing, but another mystery (or 2 or 3) raised – more accurately be titled:
Did DOD+NYT+Reuters+Bloomberg+AFP+AP Fabricate Panjwai Victims, Or Were 29+ Killed?
December 11, 2012 Note
I discovered today, thanks to the mapping skills and generous patience of Mamoon Durrani, that both of the maps I've had in this post since July (now the last two below) - including the one with the black circle, sourced to Afghan officials investigating the massacre - inaccurately locate Camp Belamby/Belambay and thus the site of the Panjwai Massacre by more than five miles. (As does the BBC map included in my April post.) Apparently misled by the existence of a second "Alkozi" village in the Panjwai district (perhaps the only one large enough to be labeled), both maps I originally included in this post placed Combat Outpost Belamby, Alkozai, Najiban/Balandi, and the Dawood home 6-10 miles east of their actual Horn of Panjwai locations near the village(s) of Zangabad, northwest of Sharakhan - closer to the Dowry River and the Registan Desert, and further away from Kandahar city. See below for the three new maps I added to the post today, just above the older maps, for the corrected massacre location, new context, and for links to aerial photo close-ups of the individual sites that Mamoon very helpfully pinpointed with the help of locals after his hazardous visit(s) to that war zone on a civilian battlefield.
On January 17, 2013, reporter Gene Johnson of the Associated Press published for the first time all the names of Panjwai victims on the Army's redacted 6/1 Charge Sheet:
Murdered (at three homes in Alkozai's Ibrahim Khan Houses neighborhood):
Na'ikmarga, Khudai Dad, Nazir Mohammad, Tora/Gulalai
Murdered (at the Mohammad Dawood home one-half kilometer northeast of Najiban):
Murdered (at the Mohammad Wazir home in Najiban):
Shah Tarina, Zahrah, Naazyah, Akhtar Mohammad, Masuma, Farida, Palwasha, Nabia, Ismattullah, Faizullah, Issa Mohammad
Wounded (at two homes in Alkozai's Ibrahim Khan Houses neighborhood):
Haji Mohammad Naim, Zardana, Rafiullah, Parmina, Sadiquallah, Robina
One Year Later - March 11, 2013 - Three Survivors Speak
Today, a year after the massacre, Afghan-born visual journalist Lela Ahmadzai, and the 2470Media company of Germany, released a moving web documentary film, and three very valuable separate video interviews, featuring Panjwai Massacre survivors:
The survivors include eyewitness Rafiullah (15) from Ibrahim Khan Houses of Alkozai, eyewitness Hekmatullah Gul (10) from south of COP Belamby, and Haji Mohammad Wazir from Najiban/Balandi. The Pashto-language video footage, with English and German subtitles, allows these survivors to speak for themselves, so the world can finally hear at length, in their own words, what some of the victims experienced that day and how it has affected their lives since. All three interviews were filmed on October 4, 2012 in Kabul. The two eyewitness accounts reveal new information, and confirm existing reports, about the participation of more than one soldier in the attacks that night.
June 5, 2013
Perhaps if the international media, and particularly the U.S. media, would turn its lofty, self-righteous talk, about the rights of females in Afghanistan, into its walk - by, for example, seeking to obtain and report the eyewitness accounts of the many women (not to mention the many young girls) who survived the Panjwai Massacre - we might have a better idea by now of the answer to the question posed in the post's title (among many other still-unanswered questions about the Panjwai Massacre).
Instead, the U.S. media basically delegated the actual gathering of facts in the dangerous environs of Camp Belamby, aka Combat Outpost (COP) Belamby (aerial photo added 12/11/12), to the intrepid Afghan reporters and photographers who were first (and mostly only) on the scene, and then busied itself with its official-source-quoting method of "journalism" (frequently accompanied by accountability-free anonymity) - the results of which practically drown out the actual, essential fact reporting about what happened in the Panjwai Massacre, even in the earliest March 11th coverage.
Thus, today, almost four months after the attack, of at least five adult females (and likely at least three more women in Alkozai) who are now known to have witnessed the Panjwai attack(s) on March 11, only one - Massouma, who watched her husband Mohammad Dawood be shot in the head and killed - has been (briefly) interviewed (twice) by English-language media for publication (almost certainly in large part due to dogged efforts by her brother-in-law Baran Akhon to get her story told): once over the telephone by Bette Dam for a March 23rd GlobalPost.com internet press report [page "no longer available" 10/8; replacement link], and once on-camera, under an assumed name, by Yalda Hakim for a March 27th Australian television broadcast.
Likewise, to the best of my knowledge, to date Yalda Hakim has conducted, for the same March 27 television broadcast, the only interview of a girl who witnessed the Panjwai attack(s): 8-year-old Noorbinak of Alkozai (
it appears or close by specifically, from Alkozai's Ibrahim Khan Houses neighborhood), who watched her father Nazar Mohammad, and 2-year-old sister Khatima (aka Toraki), shot and killed in front of her, before she herself was shot in the leg. (I learned the identity of Noorbinak's father, and her village, only this week from Mamoon Durrani's information. Further confirmation of Noorbinak's parentage seems advisable.) We didn't learn until mid-May, when Jon Stephenson of McClatchy wrote an important, chilling, and detailed account [link broken in their 9/24 website move; alternative link] of the four murders in Alkozai, that Noorbinak (who, notably, isn't mentioned in the Stephenson account) apparently has two other, younger sisters (or half-sisters) who survived the night's terror in Alkozai: 6-year-old Rubbinah (who was wounded), and 5-year-old Naseema, who both fled for their lives through the darkness, Naseema first to one home, then another, and finally away from the 3-4 adjacent homes that were targeted in Alkozai, to another location in the village. [Those 3-4 adjacent Alkozai homes are, per McClatchy, Nazar Mohammad's, Mohammad Naim's, and Sayed Jan's, including a Sayed Jan guesthouse (or guestroom) where one man named Khudaydad was killed. Stephenson reports that some children of Nazar Mohammad (Rubbinah and Naseema) were staying in the Sayed Jan home (Jan was away at his farm), with Nazar Mohammad's first wife Shah Babo. See my casualty list below for more, and my original post (which I will soon be editing/updating have edited and updated to match the new facts I've learned from Mamoon). Also see the important later account of the attack on Alkozai's Ibrahim Khan Houses neighborhood that was provided in October, 2012, by an eyewitness teenage boy (one of the survivors interviewed by Stephenson), which I added to the caption of the first photograph below on January 5, 2013 (in key respects, Rafiullah's October account differs significantly from Stephenson's May McClatchy reporting).]
In addition to the three young daughters of Nazar Mohammad (two of them wounded) who survived, a young daughter of neighbor Mohammad Naim was shot and wounded in Alkozai: Parmina (age
unknown 15-16), sister of Sediqullah (11-14), who was also shot and wounded in his father's home (Sediqullah is the young boy interviewed on-camera by Yalda Hakim for DatelineSBS). Jon Stephenson (a McClatchy special correspondent from New Zealand) reported in May that "around a dozen" half-asleep Naim family members watched 5 children be shot, and a grandmother - Khalida, aka Nikmarghah, wife of Sayed Jan, who'd fled from next door - killed in the Naim home, and that a total of 19 people resided there, including 3 women and 8 girls - none of whom have been heard from in the English-language media about what they saw that night, as far as I know.
Besides the 11 girls who may have witnessed the attacks in Alkozai, there are
apparently 7 6 children in the Dawood family, including at least a couple of young girls - and, importantly, as explained further below, these Dawood children witnessed an attack that did not take place in Najiban village proper, but instead at a home located about 1/2 KM away from Najiban. However, only brief comments from two of Dawood's (unidentified) young sons have been aired by the English-language media, and in Najiban village proper, of course, no one survived the slaughter in the Mohammad Wazir home (as confirmed this week by Mohammad Wazir, via Durrani - i.e., the rumor/report of an adult sister surviving the Wazir home attack is false).
In stark contrast to that "Western" media track record, on March 11 itself, in the immediate aftermath of the slaughter, Mamoon Durrani personally interviewed three of those five adult female eyewitnesses, about the attacks they witnessed that night in two different locations near Camp Belamby. And yet it appears that, almost four months after the attack, no more than a sentence or two of the interviews Durrani conducted with those 3 women have ever been made public, in English - though those interviews (and videos and photographs) are freely available from him. (And I very much doubt that Durrani is the only Afghan reporter/photographer with an unseen wealth of raw Panjwai footage and information.) Here's one of the sentences Durrani recorded that made it into the English-language media's reporting about Panjwai, via AFP on March 11:
"May God kill the only son of Karzai, so he feels what we feel."
- The Aunt and mother-in-law of Mohammad Dawood, a previously-unknown eyewitness to his murder, who gave a short recorded interview to Mamoon Durrani at her home on March 11, 2012
(see translated excerpts added below as of 11/30/2012)
Mamoon Durrani also interviewed at length on March 11 a rare, and previously-unmentioned, eyewitness (or at least 'earwitness') to the attack on the Mohammad Wazir home in Najiban (as did at least one other Afghan reporter or photographer on the scene) - a woman (see photo below) who remains unnamed (or, at least, as the following confusing Update paragraph indicates, has been given multiple names and identities, all unconfirmed and unverified), though a known neighbor of the affected Wazir household in that village, because of Afghan traditions respecting women (among other things..).
[August 8 Update/Addition: In a vivid illustration of the deplorable lack of visibility and coverage of the accounts of the many affected female eyewitnesses and survivors of the Panjwai Massacre, I learned by happenstance on August 7th that - unless she's the eyewitness neighbor named "Palwasha" who I belatedly found described by Mohammad Wazir in BusinessWeek on March 23rd - the aforesaid "unnamed" female eyewitness to the attack on the Mohammad Wazir home in Najiban
is in fact may be the surviving grandmother of the children of Mohammad Wazir and his wife Bibi Zahra; Bibi was, I assume, this woman's daughter (since Mohammad Wazir's mother, the grandmother on the father's side of the family, was killed that night). That, at least, is according to this lone photo caption - that I happened upon online almost five months after the attacks while looking for something else - which I believe was provided courtesy of Afghan Associated Press photographer Allauddin Khan, who not only took this woman's photograph, and evidently recorded her story on March 11, but wrote down her name as well: Anar Gul. ((((Edited August 11 to add: Searches on "Anar Gul" reveal that a number of media outlets indeed ran that caption with the same AP photograph, and also with another AP photograph of the same woman in the same minivan - a photo that shows the burned leg of one of the Wazir family victims - while she was holding a microphone during an interview. Notably, however, I've so far found only one article that actually quotes an "Anar Gul," and that article says that her brother-in-law is "Samad Khan" (Abdul Samad, Wazir's uncle) of "Balandi village" - which, if true, would likely mean that "Anar Gul" is not the grandmother of the Wazir children. That Xinhua article also indicates that Anar Gul heard, apparently, her door being pounded on in the "nearby Zangabad village" - though Zangabad village (see map captions below), as opposed to the Zangabad area, is evidently more than five miles to the southwest quite near [see December 11, 2012 Note at top of post] the [corrected] location of Camp Belamby - and also quotes 57-year-old "Zangabad villager" Allah Gul, and a woman named Rahila who lost her brother. There is, in addition, a New York Times article from March 11, excerpted in my April 10th post, that quotes an "Anar Gula," who's described as "an elderly neighbor who rushed to the [Mohammad Wazir] house...", and who said, among other things, “we put out the fire.”)))) Yet unlike Mohammad Wazir's uncle Abdul Samad, who was away the night of the attack but has been prominently quoted by the media about his losses, Anar Gul - possibly present that night in at least some capacity [ unless even if Anar Gul actually does live in Zangabad village proper], and [possibly] the sole surviving grandmother of the murdered children and surviving Wazir child - has apparently so far been publicly quoted to a very limited extent only as an anonymous villager making a few general remarks about the Najiban attack - through the BBC and AFP reporting of Mamoon Durrani - apart from that one photo caption by an Afghan AP photographer (and the March 18 Xinhua article by Abdul Haleem and Yangtze Yan).]
[[Updated September 14 to add: The following quote is a translated excerpt from an invaluable 6-minute Pashto-language video by Pajhwok Afghan News Video Services, that's been posted online since March 12 (with portions apparently made available to other media outlets since March 11). I belatedly discovered this rare public video footage through a helpful GlobalPost.com "live blog" page compiled by Priyanka Boghani, which linked to a March 12 Robert Mackey New York Times blog post. The Pajhwok video contains short interviews about the Panjwai Massacre with two different women, both apparently witnesses - the first is the woman possibly named "Anar Gul" (photo; Pajhwok screen capture); the second is an unidentified woman (Pajhwok screen capture) I've seen in no other photo or footage, who gestures while describing what happened, including apparently showing her hair being pulled...(screen capture; also see the shorter video clips I found in late November, as linked and transcribed below, and the 12/3 Update below identifying this witness as a grandmother of the Mohammad Dawood family, from south of Camp Belamby). [The video also includes March 11 footage of Asadullah Khalid - who was nominated and approved in September to head Afghanistan's CIA-funded National Directorate of Security - speaking to the Afghan media at Camp Belamby while standing next to Haji Abdul Samad of Najiban (screen capture; another capture from a higher-quality video I found in late November), and brief footage of a grief-stricken Haji Sayed Jan of Alkozai at Camp Belamby March 11 (similar screen captures from other videos: 1, 2).] Robert Mackey found the following translation of a 10-second portion of the minute-plus (Pashto-language) Pajhwok interview of Anar Gul, in a shorter English-language-narrated March 12 Al Jazeera video - that includes about two minutes of the 6 minutes of Pajhwok footage - and helpfully included that translation in his New York Times blog post; an Al Jazeera subtitle in their video (narrated by Bernard Smith in Kabul) identifies Anar Gul as "Gul Bashra, Mother:"
"They killed a child who was 2 years old. Was this child Taliban? There is no Taliban here. Americans are always threatening us with dogs and helicopters during night raids." - Gul Bashra, Mother, speaking in a Pajhwok Afghan News Video Services clip - from a minivan carrying two Najiban village, Wazir/Samad family Panjwai Massacre victims - at COP Belamby, Panjwai district, Kandahar province, March 11, 2012
This YouTube video that I found November 18th contains more of the same interview of "Gul Bashra" in Pashto (here she speaks, with a boy who seems to be her son and is seen in the vehicle with her in this 6:07 footage, for a total of three minutes, and someone has added a few Pashto subtitles to the footage).
[According to a March 12 New Yorker blog post, "Gul Bashra" also said (to a BBC reporter; no link - but see the BBC video link and further translation I added 11/30, just below): "I told my son not to speak because the Americans are here. They went next door and the first thing they did was shoot the dog. And then there was a muffled bang inside the room - but who could go and see?" The same blog post reports that another, unnamed, woman (
possiblyconfirmed [see below] to be the second woman interviewed in the Pajhwok video above) told the BBC (no link - but see the AFP-TV video link and further translation I added 11/30, just below): "There was one man, and he dragged a woman by her hair and banged her head repeatedly against the wall. She didn't say a word."]
On March 11, without naming her, U.S. commercial television network ABC-TV played four seconds of the same footage of Anar Gul/Gul Bashra seen in the Pajhwok video (as part of a 2:38 ABC News video clip also hosted on the GlobalPost.com live blog page, under the heading "UPDATE: 3/12/12 12:15 PM ET Eyewitness account"), during which Martha Raddatz - Senior National Security Correspondent for ABC News, reporting from Washington, D.C. - tellingly informed her audience that Gul said (only): "'He killed a child,' says this mother. 'Was this child part of the Taliban?'" That account seems to have aired on Sunday morning, U.S. time. On ABC's World News Tonight, Sunday evening, the same brief footage of Anar Gul/Gul Bashra is played, and this time the narrator (Muhammad Lila in Islamabad, Pakistan) quotes Gul as saying: "'They killed a child,' says this grieving mother. 'Was this child part of the Taliban?'"]]
[[In post-November-18 searches of YouTube I found four more clips of the same or similar Gul Bashra/Anar Gul interview footage, this time with English translations of more of what the Afghan reporter(s) were told March 11 by "Gool Booshra" (phonetically, according to this BBC-News video's narration) - which I've transcribed below (added to the post on November 30th; bracketed inserts mine).]]
BBC video translation: "It was 2:00 in the morning [she holds up two fingers, apparently to represent the time]. I woke up for my fasting breakfast. When I turned the light on, I heard noises. I told my son [looks at and gestures toward him on the other side of the minivan] not to speak because the Americans are here. They were telling us to be quiet, and not to come out. When he kicked the door, my door had a stone so it didn't open. They moved from my door, and went next door and the first thing they did was to shoot the dog, and then there was a muffled bang inside the room - but who could go and see. And then there were two planes overhead."
(70 seconds in a 1:12 video uploaded March 12)
[Compare stated timing to the Article 32 testimony of a U.S. Army witness concerning the whereabouts of SSG Bales at 2:00-2:15 AM that night. And to the Bales Article 32 hearing testimony of Afghan National Army guard Tosh Ali (the soldier on the right in this screen capture), who said he saw an American soldier leave Camp Belamby (1+ KM north of the Wazir home), on foot, at 2:30 AM. Gul Bashra's stated timing is corroborated by the account of Wazir neighborhood resident Agha Lala in Reuters ("he was awoken by gunfire at about 2 a.m."). At the Mohammad Dawood home, .5 KM east of the Wazir home, Dawood nephew Toor Jan/Ali Ahmad is quoted by CNN, as a witness, saying: "It was around 3 at night that they entered the room." And non-witness Dawood brother Haji Baran Akhon told President Karzai, based on the accounts of surviving witnesses, that "it was two or three in the morning" when the attack happened at the isolated Dawood home.]
AFP-TV video translation: "Four were girls and four others were boys. Now there are only two. They assassinated children, including those who were just two years old. For God's sake, is it supposed to be done to Muslims? Is this two-year-old child a Taliban fighter? I swear by God, I haven't seen any Taliban fighters for the last five months. They search our homes with dogs and helicopters. At the beginning they allowed us to live in this area. They said we have nothing to do with you people. This is your own village and your country."
(70 seconds in a 1:26 video uploaded March 12)
CNN video narration by Sara Sidner: "This base told us to come back to our villages. They said we won't bother you. This is your land and this is your own village. Then those dogs come and grab us."
(12 seconds in a 2:16 video uploaded March 13)
BBC-News video narration by Mike Woodridge: "They killed a two-year-old child. Was this child a Taliban? Believe me, I've not seen a two-year-old Taliban member yet."
(15 seconds in a 2:07 video uploaded March 11)
- Gul Bashra of Najiban village, Panjwai district, March 11, 2012
Visual Journalist Lela Ahmadzai, a trilingual Pashto speaker, has very helpfully provided me with the following translation of Gul Bashra's 1-minute Pashto-language Pajhwok Afghan News video interview (added December 15th):
"Four girls and four boys. Some are two years old. Is the child Taliban? In God's name, I have seen no Taliban for five months. Their dogs check us and their helicopters are always there and check us. But this is our country and we can say nothing. We are leaving our own country and place because of them. Our doors are broken. That was not one person, there were many. There were many footprints. I could not go outside or I too would have been fired upon. Eleven people are dead. This family is erased."
(1 minute in a 6:35 video uploaded March 12)
["Four girls and four boys" may reference all the Wazir family victims except Wazir brother Akhtar Mohammad's new wife Nadia or Nazia - indications are that her body may not have been transported to Camp Belamby - and Mohammad Wazir's mother and wife, who may be the victims who were transported to the gate(s) of Compat Outpost Belamby in this vehicle.]
[[Also included on two of the above four YouTube videos I found after 11/18 are the first English translations I've seen of snippets of interviews with the previously-unknown, still-unnamed Dawood woman I first saw in the 6:35 Pajhwok video linked above. At least one of these three translations (including a second key AFP video), if accurate [which, as the 12/3 Edit just below explains, it may not be, and, as the alternative translation added below on December 15th indicates, it almost certainly is not] reveals the outlines of a trauma that as far as I can tell to date - November 30, 2012 - is not accounted for by any of the 16 admitted Panjwai Massacre deaths. This Agence France-Presse footage and English translation (if accurate as transcribed below)
is seemingly misleadingly appeared to be the first known public video evidence of an eyewitness describing a Panjwai Massacre murder (of an unidentified 7-year-old boy) that is not charged to SSG Bales. If the following translations are accurate, the unknown unnamed woman is a [Dawood family] mother and grandmother.]]
AFP-TV video translation (but see 12/3 edit and 12/15 alternative translation just below): "They brought my dearest 7-year-old grandchild here and killed him in front of me. And he put the Kalashnikov barrel in my daughter-in-law's mouth. And he was pulling my daughter by her hair outside. I saw one person. He had a Kalashnikov."
(16 seconds in a 1:00 video uploaded March 12)
CNN video narration by Sara Sidner: "One guy came in and pulled a boy from his sleep and he shot him in this doorway. Then they came back inside the room and put a gun in the mouth of another child and stomped on another boy."
(11 seconds in a 2:16 video uploaded March 13)
BBC video translation: "I saw one man. I can't lie. I didn't see another. There was one man and he dragged a woman by her hair, and banged her head repeatedly against the wall. She didn't say a word."
(10 seconds in a 1:12 video uploaded March 12)
UnidentifiedDawood Grandmother (mother of Mohammad Dawood's wife Massouma, and Aunt of Mohammad Dawood and Haji Baran Akhon/Mullah Barraan) from an unidentified villagewho was [mistakenly] translated as saying she saw her unidentified 7-year-old grandson shot to death in front of her during the Panjwai Massacre, March 11, 2012
(See also the grandmother's 30-second Pashto-language interview.)
Edited December 3, to add: As indicated in the 1-minute AFP-TV video, the non-NATO Panjwai footage in that clip was recorded by Mamoon Durrani for AFP. On December 3rd (after the Afghan government's 3-month blockage of the YouTube site was finally lifted, at least in part) Mamoon confirmed for me that the footage is indeed from his March 11th reporting, and told me that the unknown woman is in fact the "Aunt" (
or possiblyand mother-in-law ??) of Mohammad Dawood, who is referenced, and briefly quoted, earlier in the post. Futhermore, based on Mamoon's recollection of his conversation with the Dawood grandmother, she did not tell Mamoon (in Pashto) that a grandson of hers was "killed" (contrary to the AFP-TV video's English translation of her words transcribed above). Likewise, the Dawood grandmother apparently did not say that a grandson of hers (or a "boy") was "shot," either, contrary to the CNN video's English translation of a different Pashto-language interview. Mamoon instead remembers the Dawood grandmother showing him where her adult nephew ( orand son-in-law) Mohammad Dawood was killed, and telling him that the soldier put a gun in the mouth of her grandson. Thus, indications are that one or more of these English translations of the Dawood grandmother may not in fact be accurate...
Edited December 15, to add: Here is an apparently accurate translation - that confirms the interviewer's own memory of the conversation - of Mamoon Durrani's excerpted AFP-TV interview footage of Mohammad Dawood's mother-in-law and Aunt (the full original interview lasts less than 60 seconds), which has been very kindly provided to me by Visual Journalist Lela Ahmadzai, a trilingual Pashto speaker (bracketed inserts are mine):
"The murdered man [Mohammad Dawood] is my son-in-law and nephew [she used the non-specific Pashto word "lala" for Dawood; exact relationship confirmed by her nephew Haji Mullah Barraan, via Mamoon Durrani]. It happened last night, right here [she gestured toward the bloodstained rug on the floor]. The child [apparently meaning her 6-month-old grandson Hazratullah, seen here in his mother's arms]: he held the gun in his mouth; pulled the woman's hair [apparently meaning her daughter Massouma, Dawood's wife]. He beat her head against the wall. I saw only one person. May I be blinded if I lie. I saw only one person."
(16 seconds in a 1:00 video uploaded March 12)
[Before I learned the identity of this Dawood family grandmother and corrected the name of the .jpg file accordingly, this or a similar uploaded screen capture of her briefly had the file name of: "Unidentified grandmother who lost her favorite grandson in Panjwai Massacre, AFP-TV screen capture, March 11, 2012."]
To be fair to any members of the media who tried to get into Panjwai a day or two after the attacks to report the story, both the Taliban - who immediately made access to the Mohammad Wazir home in Najiban an IED-laden hazard, according to Wazir via Durrani - and the U.S. military/ISAF/NATO were doing their best to prevent such visits. [A village elder told Durrani March 11 that the Taliban have a mosque only about 2 kilometers from the Camp Belamby area, and soldiers at the Camp warned him that the fort-like Grape Hut structures ("kishmishkhana" in Pashto), which are used to dry the grape crop into raisins, are a common launching post of the Taliban for attacks or sniper fire, including on Camp Belamby. See this photo of a Najiban Grape Hut or "Raisins Home" that Durrani took in July (see also this aerial photo of a similar structure elsewhere), and this photo of the interior of a Kandahar Grape Hut. (One screen capture of DatelineSBS footage of Alkozai included in my April 10 post appears to show an Alkozai Grape Hut in the distance on the right, beside the lane and bordering vineyards.) This U.S. Army photo, taken July 30, 2012 in the Panjwai district, includes a good view of the entranceway on one end of a traditional Afghan kishmishkhana/grape-drying hut.]
Mamoon Durrani told the BBC in an informative (and highly-recommended) 8-minute radio interview March 17 that the U.S. military even tried to prevent the Afghan reporters and photographers who quickly made it to Camp Belamby on the day of the massacre from leaving the base to visit the affected villages. Durrani succeeded in quickly overcoming that hurdle because he was recognized by someone in the crowd of (as many as 300) demonstrators outside the Camp, who hugged him and offered to take him to a village (apparently Alkozai, to begin with). Thus Durrani apparently saw all of the victims in Alkozai (collected together into the Sayed Jan home from the three homes in which they had been killed - a circumstance that has led to widespread misreporting that the four Alkozai deaths all occurred in one home), and at the Dawood home (I believe), and in Najiban at the Wazir home, before they had been transported in vehicles by the villagers to (but apparently not inside) Camp Belamby. Durrani photographed the 16 bodies he saw on March 11 (which, as indicated by this March 11 AFP report, included the body of Mohammad Wazir's mother lying near the doorway of the main gate to her Najiban home), and video-recorded the 6 wounded he saw on March 12 at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital.
Something else that's apparently never been made public in the English-language media about the attacks in Panjwai is that the home of Mohammad Dawood - who was killed that night - is not in Balandi/Najiban village proper (a settlement located 1.25 KM, or about one mile, southwest of Camp Belamby). Instead, as a portion of a map [see July-posted black-circled version below] from an Afghan government source reveals (and as Durrani himself can attest after visiting the Dawood home on March 11), the Dawood home sits alone about one-half kilometer east/northeast of the small Najiban/Balandi neighborhood where the Mohammad Wazir family was killed - across a vineyard, or "Grapes garden" as Durrani calls it, probably a wheat field, and multiple farm fields. The first map, and aerial photos below - which I updated/added on December 11th, as noted at the top of the post - clearly show that the isolated Dawood home is almost as far from the Wazir home (both south of COP Belamby), as Alkozai is from COP Belamby (.5 KM or about one-third mile north of the US/Afghan special operators base at Belambai). [To place the following "Horn of Panjwai" map and photos into context relative to the locations of Panjwai center/town (Bazaar-e Panjwai) and Kandahar city, see this map and this aerial photo.]
For purposes of comparison, the following map graphic, produced by MCT Photo Service for an April 11 McClatchy story, provides a scale, and finer detail, including the location of the village of Mokhoyan (scene of the March 8 threats detailed here) and of some roads in the area immediately surrounding Camp Belamby ("Belambai") - which is located in the center of the Zangabad area or region of the Panjwai district in Kandahar province, southeastern Afghanistan [note that the orientation of this graphic appears to be Northeast in the direction of its top side, not North as in the map above; and as noted at the top of the post December 11th, the McClatchy graphic mistakenly places the scene of the massacre, and uses an aerial photo location, southeast of Bazaar-e Panjwai, instead of 5-10 miles to its southwest]:
[Edited August 6 to add: The part of the Panjwai district of Kandahar province in which Camp Belamby is located is the populated northern tip (or triangle, or "horn") of the district, between the northern Arghandab and southern Dowry rivers, where the land narrows toward the west until the rivers meet. Per Durrani, this wide area is known by Afghans as the "Zangabad" area (which is apparently pronounced "Zangawat" and specifically encompasses the separate villages of Alkozai, including its Ibrahim Khan Houses neighborhood, Balandi - exact location unclear - and Najiban, all near COP Belamby). The largest, 'lower' part of the Panjwai district is the Red (Registan) Desert area south of the Dowry River. (An evocative description of the region: "Technically, some people call the Arghandab River area an oasis, but that image belies its strange desolation. The Red Desert lies a few kilometres south like a big giant furnace, making the air crispy dry and sucking all the moisture from the land. And so, despite the lush greenery, life is hard, the people are hard, even the dirt is hard.") Kandahar city - about
15 20 miles to the northeast of Camp Belamby as the crow flies - is located in, or next to, the newer Dand district (the next district east of 'upper' Panjwai - though note this helpful article describing how arbitrary and unfixed district boundaries can be), as is the Kandahar Airfield ISAF military base and hospital. Kandahar Airfield (KAF) is about 12 miles southeast of Kandahar city (and thus 20-25 30 miles more or less due east of Camp Belamby), on the eastern border of the Dand district. North of the Panjwai district (on the other side of Panjwai town - aka Bazaar-e Panjwai - and the Arghandab River) are the Kandahar province districts of Zhari (a 2005-formed district north/northwest of Panjwai that includes a former part - apparently the northernmost part of the 'horn' - of the Panjwai district) and Arghandab (north/northeast of Panjwai). Maywand (or Maiwand) district, and then Helmand province, borders the Zhari and (upper) Panjwai districts on the west. Both the 'lower' Panjwai district (south of the Dowry River) and the Dand district are bordered on the east by the Daman district. This is a good map of the "horn of" (or 'upper') Panjwai - between the rivers, with Kandahar city shown in the upper right - that also indicates where the ISAF conducted operations in September and October, 2010 (primarily west and north of the Camp Belamby area, which is not labeled on the map but is close to "Zangabad"). Earlier, in 2006, Canadian troops played the lead role in a major assault from Panjwai north across the Arghandab River to the neighboring (now Zhari district) village of Pashmul and environs - in Operation Medusa, as elaborately detailed in a very informative three-part (1, 2, 3) series in Canada's Legion Magazine. Note, too, this Google Earth photo posted by a Canadian military veteran of operations in the area, that marks the approximate locations of two Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) - at the hilltops of Mas'um Ghar and Sperwan Ghar - respectively north westeast and southwest east of Camp Belamby - as well as Zangabad village, the other Alkozai/Alkozi, Salawat (miles east of Camp Belamby), Kandahar city, and Kandahar Airfield. That veteran notes that the Canadians had a Combat Outpost (COP) named Zangabad, and another COP named "Old School" in Panjwai at some point (locations unspecified, and apparently since dismantled and replaced by an American FOB Zangabad, among others), in addition to a COP they built (and later turned over to the Americans) at Belanday village, which is located just over the border into Dand district, about 10 20-30 KM east/northeast of Camp Belamby. He also recalls a village named "Belambay" at the approximate current location of Camp Belamby, and makes the following telling comment in another post, about the self-defeating disunity and discontinuity of "coalition" operations in Afghanistan.]
I really can't blame the journalist for not knowing this, though. Most Americans in Zhari [district, Kandahar province] are continually surprised there was anything there before them at all. I count among peers both the first American commander of Zhari's Strong Point Lakokhel when it was created in late 2009, and the last Canadian commander of Strong Point Lakokhel when it was razed three months previously (obviously fairly effectively), before being rebuilt by the U.S. arrivals in exactly the same location. Neither knew of the existence of the other prior to me telling them: pity, we could have told the U.S. guys where the sniping was coming from, the good places to buy bread, etc. What always amazed me was the Afghan soldiers who were pulled out and then put back in alongside the Western troops never let the Americans in on the joke. - Bruce Rolston - who helped advise the Afghan National Army as a captain with the Canadian military's Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team in Kandahar province - writing on March 2, 2012
Let me now try to illustrate why I asked the question I did in the post title, despite at least two separate on-the-ground counts of 16 bodies - by Mamoon Durrani himself, and by Taimoor Shah of the New York Times - plus two counts of 15 bodies - by an AP photographer (Allauddin Khan, presumably), and by "Zangabad villager Allah Gul, 57" - that were independently seen (and photographed, at least in Durrani's case) on March 11. [Note that it's not yet clear whether or not the bodies of the 4 women acknowledged murdered on March 11 - Khalida/Nikmarghah of Alkozai; Bibi Khalida/Shah Tarina, Bibi Zahra, and Nadia of Najiban - were transported to (the outskirts of) Camp Belamby that day. Indications by August 19th are that Khalida/Nikmarghah and Nadia may not have been moved by vehicle to COP Belamby on March 11.] For this I'll draw on information previously detailed in Comments 13 + 16 of my original Panjwai post thread and at the foot of the post itself. (On November 9, Afghan reporter Taimoor Shah posted a very important and illuminating account of how he reported the Panjwai massacre; Shah's good early work for the New York Times describes, though he probably doesn't realize it, the death of an elderly victim who is not included among the now-released names of the adults on the June 1 Bales Charge Sheet, as further detailed below.)
First of all, I know of no public list officially released under someone's name or title (though there may be one in Afghanistan) that contains the names of the dead and wounded in Panjwai on March 11. There are, however, two [March 23rd (listing 17 dead), June 1st (listing 16 dead)] Bales Charge Sheets that have been publicly released by the U.S. military - both of which redact all the names of the dead and wounded, and neither of which lists the ages, villages, or relationships of the victims. That leaves what are - at least in CNN's case, and probably in both, since these valuable lists are essentially identical - anonymous Afghan investigator-sourced semi-official lists: published first by Qais Azimy, an Al Jazeera producer (and an Afghan, according to this Jere Van Dyk CBS News commentary), apparently based in Kabul, who doesn't identify the source of his March 19 list; and, secondly, by Sara Sidner, a CNN International correspondent. [Sidner sources her March 24 list this way: "These are the names of the men, women and children allegedly murdered by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan's Panjwai District in Kandahar Province on March 11, according to Afghan officials."] In addition, I now have Mamoon Durrani's own list of the 16 dead he personally counted (and photographed or filmed) on March 11 in three locations near Camp Belamby, and of the 6 wounded who were present, and filmed by him, in the Kandahar Airfield military hospital on March 12. [One caveat: I believe that Durrani personally compiled the list he gave me, but that important fact could use confirmation, preferably in his own language. If I'm wrong, and Durrani's list was compiled by someone else, Durrani has the photographs and video (of the 16 dead on March 11 and the military hospital patients on March 12) needed for comparison to and verification of that list. Note that, unlike the Azimy and Sidner lists, the Durrani list connects every listed victim (dead and wounded) to a surviving family member previously known to us.]
To put it simply, on the one hand, these various lists don't match, except, as of June 1, as to the total number reported killed (16), and total number reported wounded (6). And, on the other, none of these lists seem to account for all of the dead and wounded reported by the media, and, in one case, by the Department of Defense on its own Charge Sheets (for more on the Charge Sheets [and pending UCMJ Article 32 hearing], see Comment 17 in the April 10 post's comment thread). In addition, it's been obvious for some time (at least by April 10, for example, when I wrote my first Panjwai post) that the count of the 6 wounded on the March 19 Qais Azimy list (and U.S. Army Charge Sheets) is incomplete (Sidner's list does not include the wounded).
As indicated in the November 16th Note at the top of the post, we finally have the first official, on-the-record release of names for eight of the (adult) Panjwai dead, and for one (adult) Panjwai wounded (Haji Mohammad Naim of Alkozai), on the June 1 SSG Bales Charge Sheet, thanks to these November 11 tweets by Gene Johnson of the Associated Press during the Bales Article 32 hearing (at "JBLM," or Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Seattle):
Note that there are actually names of eight adult dead listed above (the first 8 names, with a missing semicolon between "Zahrah" and "Naazyah"). Naazyah (Nazia or Nadia) was the 18-year-old (per WSJ) bride of Mohammad Wazir's 22-year-old brother Akhtar. Confusingly, the June 1 Bales Charge Sheet list of wounded describes teenager Parmina (Age 15-16) not as a (female) "child" (which is how Zardana, 7, "Robina," 7, Rafiullah, 14-15, and Sadiqullah, 11-14, are all described), but instead as simply a "female" - and therefore, presumably, an adult in the eyes of the U.S. Army? At any rate, the identities of the six wounded Panjwai shooting victims who are listed on the SSG Bales Charge Sheet are now known, as a result of the Article 32 hearing testimony. As indicated by the last, or ninth, name in the AP tweets, the U.S. Army now admits that Haji Mohammad Naim (Age 50-60) is the adult male in Specification 1 of Charges II & III, followed (as their wounds and other evidence now make clear) by Zardana in Specification 2, Rafiullah (see first photo below) in Specification 3, Parmina in Specification 4, Sadiqullah in Specification 5, and Robina (apparently aka "Noorbinak") in Specification 6.
I've now amalgamated those lists, using the Mamoon Durrani list as a base, together with media reports about Panjwai victims - including
three five key reports (quoted further below) identifying victims apparently omitted from those lists. Based on the sources indicated, the result is as follows, regarding those who were killed or wounded in Panjwai on March 11:
KILLED IN PANJWAI ON MARCH 10-11, 2012
At an isolated home,
1. Mohammad Dawood (son of Abdullah, per the unsourced March 19 Al Jazeera/Qais Azimy list, and the March 24 CNN/Sara Sidner list sourced to anonymous "Afghan officials") - husband of Massouma (the eyewitness "Aminea" interviewed by DatelineSBS); father of
In Alkozai, located
2. Khudaydad (son of Mohammad Juma, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - nephew (per Durrani) of Sayed Jan (a son of Jan's sister); the 35-year-old cousin of Sayed Jan, per McClatchy May 16 [link broken in their 9/24 website move; alternative link]. Killed at the guesthouse of Sayed Jan, per McClatchy. Per Mamoon Durrani November 6th, Khudaydad was the "servant" (or, probably more accurately, the 'farm laborer') of the Sayed Jan household who was referenced by Rafiullah in a (recorded) March 11th phone conversation with President Karzai (see Wounded entry #4 below). Confirmed as among the dead on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (under the name "Khudai Day"), by two November 11th AP tweets (see screen captures above), and by Gene Johnson's important, benchmark reporting in this January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
3. (Kaka) Nazar Mohammad (son of Taj Mohammad, per CNN/Sara Sidner list sourced to "Afghan officials") - husband of (first) Shah Babo and (second) Maryam, per McClatchy; brother of Sayed Jan; father of (per Durrani list), among others, 8-year-old Noorbinak (shot in the leg) and 2.5-year-old Khatima aka Toraki (shot in the head and killed). Shot in the foot and near his neck, and killed, at his home. (A March 11 photograph, taken by Mamoon Durrani for AFP, of the bodies of Nazar Mohammad and his daughter Khatima.) Confirmed as among the dead on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (under the name "Nazir Mohammad"), by two November 11th AP tweets (see screen captures above), and by Gene Johnson's important, benchmark reporting in this January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
4. Khatima (per Durrani list) aka Toraki (per Stephenson/McClatchy) - 2.5-year-old daughter of Kaka Nazar Mohammad and Maryam (per McClatchy and Durrani); sister or half-sister of 8-year-old Noorbinak (shot in the leg), 6-year-old Rubbinah (superficially wounded), and 5-year-old Naseema. Shot in the head, and killed, in the home of her father Nazar Mohammad (per McClatchy and Durrani). (A March 11 photograph, taken by Mamoon Durrani for AFP, of the bodies of Nazar Mohammad and his daughter Khatima.) Names not on Azimy and Sidner lists. Confirmed as among the dead (under the names "Tora" and "Gulalai") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
5. Khalida (per Durrani list) aka Nikmarghah (per McClatchy) - wife of 50-year-old Sayed Jan; grandmother of Rafiullah and Zardana, per McClatchy and Durrani. Killed in the home of her neighbor Mohammad Naim, where she'd fled. Names not on Azimy and Sidner lists. Confirmed as among the dead on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (under the name "Na'ikmarga"), by two November 11th AP tweets (see screen captures above), and by Gene Johnson's important, benchmark reporting in this January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
At least 3 of the 4 Alkozai victims were transported to Camp Belamby in one vehicle:
At the Najiban - aka Najeban or (inaccurately?) Balandi - home of Mohammad Wazir and his uncle Abdul Samad, located
6. Bibi Khalida (per Wazir via Durrani, and Durrani list) aka Shah Tarina (per Azimy and Sidner lists, and Wazir per Durrani = familiar/family name) (daughter of Sultan Mohammad, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 60-year-old (per WSJ) mother of Mohammad Wazir; grandmother of 6 of the children who were murdered with her. Killed at the doorway of the main gate to her home (per Durrani). Confirmed as among the dead on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (under the name "Shah Tarina"), by two November 11th AP tweets (see screen captures above), and by Gene Johnson's important, benchmark reporting in this January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
7. Bibi Zahra (daughter of Abdul Hamid, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - wife of 35-year-old Mohammad Wazir; mother of 7, 6 of whom were killed with her. Killed in her home. Confirmed as among the dead on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (under the name "Zahrah"), by two November 11th AP tweets (see screen captures above), and by Gene Johnson's important, benchmark reporting in this January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
8. Nadia or Nazia (daughter of [Haji Mula] Dost Mohammad, per same sources as 1./Dawood, and Durrani) - 18-year-old (per WSJ) bride of Akhtar Mohammad (brother of Mohammad Wazir). Married one
9. Masooma (daughter of Mohammad Wazir, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 9 (or 7, per AP; or 12, per NPR) years old per WSJ. Killed in her home. Confirmed as among the dead (under the name "Masuma") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
10. Farida (daughter of Mohammad Wazir, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 6 years old per WSJ & AP; 8 years old per NPR; 7 years old per Wazir in a 10/5/2012 Kabul interview. Killed in her home. Confirmed as among the dead (under the name "Farida") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
11. Palwasha (daughter of Mohammad Wazir, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 2 years old per all sources, except "1" (and not shot) per Der Spiegel in November. Killed in her home
12. Nadia or Nabia (daughter of Mohammad Wazir, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 4 years old per WSJ & AP; 3 years old per NPR; 4-5, and shot, per Wazir in a 10/5/2012 Kabul interview; 4 (and not shot) per Der Spiegel in November. Killed in her home. Confirmed as among the dead (under the name "Nabia") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
13. Esmatullah (son of Mohammad Wazir, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - age 16 (per Azimy list); 13 years old per WSJ; 15 years old per AP and Durrani; 14 years old per NPR. 15-16 per Wazir in a 10/5/2012 Kabul interview. Killed in his home. Confirmed as among the dead (under the name "Ismattullah") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
14. Faizullah (son of Mohammad Wazir, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - age 9 (per Azimy list); 14 years old, per Durrani; 12 years old per WSJ; 9 years old per AP; "about 8" per NPR. 11-12 per Wazir in a 10/5/2012 Kabul interview. Killed in his home. Confirmed as among the dead (under the name "Faizullah") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
15. Essa Mohammad (son of Mohammad Hussain, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 15-year-old (per WSJ) nephew of Mohammad Wazir. 14-15 per Wazir in a 10/5/2012 Kabul interview. Killed in the Wazir/Samad home. Confirmed as among the dead (under the name "Issa Mohammad") on the redacted June 1, 2012 Army Charge Sheet for SSG Bales by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
16. Akhtar Mohammad (son of Murrad Ali, per same sources as 1./Dawood) - 20-year-old (per WSJ; "about 21 years old" per NPR) brother of Mohammad Wazir. About 22 and married one
The Wazir family victims were transported to Camp Belamby in at least three vehicles:
At location(s) unknown:
17. Father of 40-year-old Abdul Hadi (per the New York Times March 11) - Name, age and village unknown (including to Mohammad Wazir, Sayed Jan, Baran Akhon and Mamoon Durrani, per Durrani, July, 2012). Apparently not on the Azimy and Sidner lists. Not on the Durrani list. (May be one of the "old men" referenced in this important quote from a March 12 Los Angeles Times article: "We took pictures of the dead bodies, children and old men, and mattresses that were burned," said Haji Mohammad Noor, head of the Panjwayi district council.)
18.-21. Parents, sister, and brother of 20-year-old Jan Agha (per Reuters March 11) - Names, ages, and village unknown (including to Mohammad Wazir, Sayed Jan, Baran Akhon and Mamoon Durrani, per Durrani, July, 2012). Apparently not on the Azimy and Sidner lists. Not on the Durrani list.
22. Payendo (per Azimy + Sidner lists) - Identity, age, and village unknown. Name not on the Durrani list. (Possibly a son of Kaka Nazar Mohammad of Alkozai
23. Robeena (per Azimy list) or Robina (per Sidner list) - Identity, age, and village unknown. Similar to the name of Sayed Jan's 6-year-old niece "Rubbinah" (daughter of Shah Babo and Nazar Mohammad) from Alkozai, who survived, per McClatchy. Names not on the Durrani list. (Possibly
[[ Added August 12, after I belatedly discovered 2 more media reports of - as far as I can tell - unaccounted-for Panjwai murder victims...:
24.-27. Wife, two sisters, and baby nephew of 36-year-old Habibullah Khan (per Bloomberg March 12) - Names, ages, and village unknown. Village (possibly the settlement next to Alkozai known as "Ibrahim Khan Houses"??) is said to be located one kilometer from an unnamed base (presumably Belamby) in the Zangabad grape-growing village [or area]. Victims apparently shot in their beds. Habibullah Khan was away in Kandahar city that night, and did not witness the attack. Apparently not on the Azimy and Sidner lists. Not on the Durrani list.
28.-31. Grandfather, grandmother, sister, and cousin of Haji Noor Mohammad (per Agence France-Presse March 23/24) - Names, ages, and village unknown. Apparently not on the Azimy and Sidner lists. Not on the Durrani list. (Mohammad's "grandfather" may be one of the "old men" referenced in this important quote from a March 12 Los Angeles Times article: "We took pictures of the dead bodies, children and old men, and mattresses that were burned," said Haji Mohammad Noor, head of the Panjwayi district council.) ]]
Photos taken at unidentified locations, of unidentified Panjwai victims being transported:
WOUNDED IN PANJWAI ON MARCH 10-11, 2012
1. (Kaka Haji) Mohammad Naim (son of Haji Sakhawat, per the unsourced March 19 Al Jazeera/Qais Azimy list) - the father (age 50-60 years old, per McClatchy May 16 [link broken in their 9/24 website move; alternative link]) of the boy Sediqullah (aka Mohammad Sadiq) interviewed by Yalda Hakim of DatelineSBS in March. Shot at his home; wounded by 2 shots to the upper left chest, and by 1 shot that scraped the left side of his jaw, per McClatchy; unconscious for 4 days. Treated at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital, per Durrani list. [Based upon wound location, age, and gender, probably the victim listed (with name redacted) in Charges II & III, Specification 1 of DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.] Confirmed as among the wounded on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet (under the name "Haji Mohammad Naim") by two November 11th AP tweets (see screen captures above), by Haji Naim's testimony during the Article 32 hearing, and by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press. Per Article 32 hearing testimony, transported in a vehicle by son Faizullah to FOB Zangabad in Panjwai [
2. Mohammed Sadiq aka Sediqullah (son of Mohammed Naim, above, per same source as 1./Naim, and McClatchy) - 11-year-old brother (per McClatchy) of Parmina/Parween. Shot in his home; wounded in the ear, per DatelineSBS and McClatchy. Treated at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital, per Durrani list and McClatchy. According to Jon Stephenson's May 16 reporting, when the March 11 attacks took place Sediqullah (aka Sadiqullah, seen in this McClatchy photo) had apparently just finished recovering from surgery at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital for treatment of injuries caused by shrapnel from a recent U.S. mortar round that landed near his Alkozai home. [Based upon wound location, age, and gender, probably the victim listed (with name redacted) in Charges II & III, Specification 5 of DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.] Said to be Age 13-14 during the Article 32 hearing, which revealed that Sadiqullah's skull was fractured by his bullet wound. Confirmed as among the wounded on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet by Sadiqullah's testimony during the Article 32 hearing, and - under the name "Sadiquallah" - by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press. Per Article 32 hearing testimony, transported in a vehicle by brother Faizullah to FOB Zangabad in Panjwai [
3. Parmina (per Durrani and McClatchy) or Parween (per Azimy list) - daughter (age unknown) of (Kaka Haji) Mohammad Naim (per McClatchy and Durrani); sister of 11-year-old Sediqullah/Mohammad Sadiq. Shot in her home; wound location unknown. Treated at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital, per Durrani list. [As with Victims 6 & 7 & 10, based upon age and gender, theoretically could be the victim listed (with name redacted) in Charges II & III, Specification 6 of DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet. But if not the victim named in Specification 6, then not listed among the wounded on DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.] Revealed - by her father Haji Mohammad Naim in response to a November phone call from Mamoon Durrani - to be the unidentified adult female with "gunshot wounds to the chest and groin" listed on the Bales June 1 Charge Sheet (see Wounded entry #9 below), as referenced in the post's title. Age 15-16, per her father. Confirmed as among the wounded on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet by testimony (from FOB Zangabad medic Army Major Travis Hawks) about her wounds during the Article 32 hearing, and - under the name "Parmina" - by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press. Per Article 32 hearing testimony, transported in a vehicle by brother Faizullah to FOB Zangabad in Panjwai [
4. Rafiullah - 14-year-old grandson (per McClatchy and Durrani; 7-year-old nephew, per WSJ) of Sayed Jan [see photos below]. Shot at the home of his neighbor Mohammad Naim, where he'd fled; wounded in both legs and lost consciousness, per McClatchy. Treated at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital, per Durrani list and McClatchy (screen capture of Rafiullah in hospital March 11 or March 12, from a 3:14 March 12 ABC World News massacre story, which shows 9 seconds of hospital footage). [Based upon wound locations, age, and gender, probably the victim listed (with name redacted) in Charges II & III, Specification 3 of DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.] (((Updated September 16 to add: Rafiullah was 15 at the time, according to a March 11 AFP article I belatedly found through a link on a helpful GlobalPost.com "live blog" webpage. That AFP article translates part of an audio recording of Rafiullah's end of a (March 11, evidently) phone call with President Karzai (presumably from Kabul to Kandahar Airfield's military hospital) this way: "He came to my uncle's home, he was running after women, he was tearing their dresses, insulting them," Rafiullah said on an audiotape of the conversation heard by AFP. "He killed my uncle and killed our servant and killed my grandma, he shot dead my uncle's son, his daughter," the boy said. Screen capture of Rafiullah speaking with President Karzai by cell phone from his KAF hospital bed March 11 or March 12; from a 3:14 March 12 ABC World News massacre story, which shows 9 seconds of hospital footage, and translates Rafiullah saying to Karzai: "I jumped under the bed, and that's when he fired at me." ["Uncle" is presumably a reference to Rafiullah's Great Uncle Kaka Nazar Mohammad, although it's possible that two different uncles are referenced (since Mohammad Juma, Khudaydad's father, per the Azimy/Sidner lists, is apparently also a Rafiullah Great Uncle - making Khudaydad a Rafiullah cousin).] Note that Rafiullah's important statement appears to describe five deaths in Alkozai, more than the four deaths acknowledged and reported to date (including in May by Jon Stephenson for McClatchy), and is the only mention I've seen of a "servant" - name, age, and gender unknown - being killed in that village. It seems that, unless either "my uncle's son" or "our servant" means 35-year-old Khudaydad (who Durrani lists as the son of Sayed Jan's sister, and the Azimy & Sidner lists identify as a son of Mohammad Juma), Rafiullah's statement may describe two Alkozai victim(s) who have not been previously recognized or publicly described/identified. If so, "Payendo" and "Robeena"/"Robina" on the Azimy and Sidner lists of the dead may be their names.))) (Khudaydad has been identified as the "servant" (or, probably more accurately, the 'farm laborer') referenced in Rafiullah's phone call. See Killed entry #2 - for Khudaydad - above. "Samiullah," Rafiullah's father, testified at the Article 32 hearing. Confirmed as among the wounded on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet by Rafiullah's testimony during the Article 32 hearing, and - under the name "Rafiullah" - by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press. Per Article 32 hearing testimony, transported in a vehicle by brother Faizullah to FOB Zangabad in Panjwai [
5. Zardana - 7-year-old granddaughter (per McClatchy and Durrani; 6-year-old niece, per WSJ) of Sayed Jan. Shot in the home of her neighbor Mohammad Naim, where she'd fled; wounded in the head, per WSJ and McClatchy. Treated at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital, per Durrani list and McClatchy. Possibly transported to San Diego, California in June for further medical treatment, per this June 13 tweet. [Based upon wound location, age, and gender, probably the victim listed (with name redacted) in Charges II & III, Specification 2 of DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.] (((As quietly as she was transported out of Afghanistan in June, Zardana was returned to Kandahar at the end of September, according to Mamoon Durrani November 4, able to speak, and even to testify about what happened to her that night and since, should anyone bother asking...))) Confirmed as among the wounded on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet by Zardana's (very brief) testimony during the Article 32 hearing, and - under the name "Zardana" - by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press. Also publicly confirmed - by hearing testimony from her father Samiullah, who traveled with her - to be the Panjwai victim sent to San Diego, California in June for three months of treatment at a Naval hospital. On March 11th, per Article 32 hearing testimony, transported in a vehicle by brother Faizullah to FOB Zangabad in Panjwai [
6. Noorbinak - 8-year-old daughter of (Kaka) Nazar Mohammad (per Durrani). Shot in her home; wounded in the leg, per DatelineSBS. Treated at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital, per Durrani list (as "Noorbina") and DatelineSBS. Name not on the Azimy list of wounded. [As with Victims 3 & 7 & 10, based upon age and gender, theoretically could be the victim listed (with name redacted) in Charges II & III, Specification 6 of DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet. But if not the victim named in Specification 6, then not listed among the wounded on DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.] Evidently the same child as the "7-year-old" girl named "Robina" who testified during the Article 32 hearing - based on a comparison to a screen capture of Noorbinak made by a reporter who attended the Article 32 hearing and watched Robina's testimony. "Robina" was apparently slightly wounded in the leg while hiding behind her father (evidently Nazar Mohammad), who Robina testified she saw shot in the chest and throat and killed, but, per Article 32 hearing testimony, she was not transported to FOB Zangabad with five other Alkozai wounded that night. "Robina" is confirmed as among the Panjwai wounded (6th of 6) on the redacted June 1 Bales Charge Sheet by her testimony during the Article 32 hearing, and - under the name "Robina" - by the important, benchmark reporting of Gene Johnson in a January 17, 2013 article for the Associated Press.
7. Rubbinah - 6-year-old daughter of (Kaka) Nazar Mohammad and Shah Babo (per McClatchy). Shot in the home of her neighbor Mohammad Naim, where she'd fled (per McClatchy); minor wound location unknown. Probably treated at a local hospital, based on information attributed to 30-year-old Alkozai farmer Samisami_Ullah (father of Rafiullah and Zardana
At location(s) unknown:
8. Father of 26-year-old Mohammad Zahir - Name, age and village unknown. Shot in his home; wounded in the thigh, per the Associated Press March 12 (ABC.es March 13 Spanish version). [Per the August 12 post edit below, that AP account is seemingly confirmed by a very similar March 12 account in The Guardian that also quotes "26-year-old Muhammad Zahir."] Not present with 6 other wounded at the Kandahar Airfield military hospital on March 12, per Durrani list. Apparently not on the Azimy list. [Based upon wound location, age, and gender, not listed among the wounded on DOD's June 1st Bales Charge Sheet.]
Quoted below are the pertinent parts of the
three five key media reports, mentioned above, describing Panjwai victims who do not seem to be included among the 16 dead and 6 wounded so far publicly acknowledged by government officials.
From the New York Times, reporting that 40-year-old Abdul Hadi saw his father killed:
March 11, 2012
U.S. Sergeant Is Said to Kill 16 Civilians in Afghanistan
By TAIMOOR SHAH and GRAHAM BOWLEY
PANJWAI, Afghanistan — [...] In Panjwai, a reporter for The New York Times who inspected bodies that had been taken to the nearby American military base counted 16 dead, including five children with single gunshot wounds to the head, and saw burns on some of the children's legs and heads.
One of the survivors from the attacks, Abdul Hadi, 40, said he was at home when a soldier broke down the door.
"My father went out to find out what was happening, and he was killed," he said. "I was trying to go out and find out about the shooting, but someone told me not to move, and I was covered by the women in my family in my room, so that is why I survived."
Mr. Hadi said there was more than one soldier involved in the attacks, and at least five other villagers described seeing a number of soldiers, and also a helicopter and flares at the scene.
Others called for calm. Abdul Hadi Arghandihwal, the minister of economy and the leader of Hezb-e-Islami, a major Afghan political party with Islamist leanings, said there would probably be new protests. But he said the killings should be seen as the act of an individual and not of the United States.
Two American soldiers were killed by small-arms fire in Panjwai on March 1, and three died in a roadside bomb attack in February.
Taimoor Shah reported from Panjwai, and Graham Bowley from Kabul, Afghanistan. Reporting was contributed by Sharifullah Sahak, Rod Nordland and Matthew Rosenberg from Kabul; Eric Schmitt from Washington; William Yardley from Tacoma, Wash.; James Dao from New York; and Isolde Raftery from Seattle.
From Reuters, reporting that 20-year-old Jan Agha saw his father, mother, brother, and sister killed:
Father at window shot in face, Afghan witness says
By Ahmad Haroon
BELANDAI, Afghanistan | Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:22pm EDT
BELANDAI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Bursts of gunfire shook Jan Agha out of bed in his village in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. His father peeped nervously through a window curtain at the lane outside.
Suddenly, more shots rang out. His father was hit in the throat and the face. He died instantly.
Agha, 20, said American soldiers who had opened fire in the early hours entered the family home and waited in silence for what seemed an eternity. He lay on the floor, pretending to be dead.
"The Americans stayed in our house for a while. I was very scared," he told Reuters.
"My mother was shot in her eye and her face. She was unrecognizable. My brother was shot in the head and chest and my sister was killed, too."
(Writing by Michael Georgy, editing by Dean Yates and Michael Roddy)
From the Associated Press, reporting that 26-year-old Mohammad Zahir saw his father shot in the thigh:
March 12, 2012
Afghan recounts U.S. soldier shooting his father
By MIRWAIS KHAN and SEBASTIAN ABBOT
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A young Afghan man recounted today the harrowing scene in his home as a lone U.S. soldier moved stealthily through it during a killing spree, then crouched down and shot his father in the thigh as he emerged from the bedroom in the deep of night.
"He was walking around taking up positions in the house – in two or three places like he was searching," said 26-year-old witness Mohammad Zahir, who watched the gunman while hiding in another room. "He was on his knees when he shot my father" in the thigh, he told The Associated Press. His father was wounded but survived.
Zahir described the scene that unfolded when the assailant came to his house before dawn.
"I heard a gunshot. When I came out of my room, somebody entered our house. He was in a NATO forces uniform. I didn't see his face because it was dark," he said.
Zahir said he quickly went into another room in the house, where animals are penned.
"After that, I saw him moving to different areas of the house – like he was searching," he said.
His father, unarmed, then took a few steps out of his bedroom door, Zahir recalled.
"He was not holding anything – not even a cup of tea," Zahir said. Then he fired.
"My mother was pulling my father into the room. I put a cloth on his wound," he said.
After the gunman left, Zahir said he heard gunshots near the house again. He stayed in hiding for a few minutes to make sure he was gone.
From [not before?] Balandi [aka Najiban and vicinity? - where three homes were entered, according to this same AP story, citing "villagers" who "described how they cowered in fear around 3 a.m. as gunshots rang out" -pow wow], the gunman walked roughly one mile [or "3-4 miles"] to the village of Alkozai, which was only about 500 [?] meters from the American military base. There the gunman killed four people in one house [actually - unless this is a reference to the Habibullah Khan family (see Bloomberg excerpt below) - in three separate houses, per McClatchy May 16, after which the bodies were moved to one home (Sayed Jan's, per Durrani) by relatives -pow wow] and then moved to Zahir’s house, where he shot his father in the leg.
Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez, Amir Shah, Heidi Vogt and Deb Riechmann in Kabul, Pauline Jelinek in Washington and Gene Johnson in Seattle, Washington, contributed to this report.
[In addition to tweeting questions and links to the non-Afghan authors of these three articles, and/or to their colleagues, over a period of weeks, I emailed the AP, and Reuters (with assistance from a very helpful intermediary, who knows who he is - thank you!), in advance of this post. I wrote that, if further details about the described victims could not or would not be shared, a confirmation or retraction of the pertinent victim descriptions would be appreciated. I'd received neither from either media outlet at the time this post went online (nor within
a week two weeks, and counting, after its posting).]
[Edited August 12 to add: I've since found what appears to be some important corroboration for the preceding AP article about Mohammad Zahir - unless this version is simply a reprint of the AP account - in an almost identical report, as follows, in this March 12 Guardian article - an article which, notably, seems to indicate that the reporter visited the Zahir home and, unlike the AP, states that the residence of "Muhammad Zahir's" father is south of Camp Belamby.]
Afghanistan killings: gunman hunted families as if they were military targets
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 March 2012 19.12 GMT
One survivor recounted how the US soldier, reportedly a father himself, had hunted down an Afghan family like military targets through their modest home, set among vineyards and pomegranate orchards just south of the US base.
"He was walking around taking up positions in the house in two or three places like he was searching," said 26-year-old Muhammad Zahir, who from a hiding place in another room recognised the man's Nato uniform but was unable to see his face.
"He was on his knees when he shot my father," Zahir said. His father had been carrying only a cup of tea when he came out of his room to meet the shooter; he was wounded in the thigh, but survived.
After the gunman left, Zahir said he heard gunshots near the house again. He stayed in hiding for a few minutes to make sure the killer was gone.
Mokhtar Amiri contributed to this report
[[ As indicated above, a month after publishing this post, I found the two following accounts (from Bloomberg and AFP) for the first time, and edited the post and its casualty list to include them on August 12. ]]
From Bloomberg, reporting that the home of 36-year-old Habibullah Khan was attacked, and his wife, two sisters, and a baby nephew killed while Khan was away in Kandahar city March 11:
Afghans Bury Victims of American Soldier's Rampage as Restraint Is Urged
By Eltaf Najafizada
March 12, 2012 12:31 PM EDT
Farming families in Zangabad, a grape-growing village [and area] 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city, met in mosques today to hold post-burial prayers for relatives killed by the soldier, said Habibullah Khan, whose home was one of those attacked.
"If the U.S. and Afghan governments do not prosecute this soldier, the Afghan people will protest, and some may attack that base," said Agha Lalai Dastgiri, a village elder from the Alokozay section of Zangabad who serves on the Kandahar provincial council. The local government has discouraged villagers from responding with violence, said Khan, 36.
Before opening fire, the soldier had to walk about a kilometer from his base, Khan said in a phone interview.
"The soldier killed four of my family members including my wife, sisters and a baby nephew," he said. "I was out of the district, in the city of Kandahar, but when I came back I saw blood and all four people had been killed in their beds."
(The editor responsible for this story is Peter Hirschberg)
((Possibly in relation to that Habibullah Khan account by Bloomberg, note the following early, revealing statement made to Mokhtar Amiri or Emma Graham-Harrison of The Guardian, by the powerful, plugged-in Alokozai tribal chief and Kandahar Provincial Council member Haji Agha Lalai Lalay Dastgeeri (var. Dastagir; biography), who was at Camp Belamby on March 11. [[Kandahar Provincial Council member and former Panjwai District Council head Haji Agha Lalai is the tall man wearing a turban, second from the right, who's gesturing toward bodies of the Wazir family in this March 11 EPA (European PressPhoto Agency) photograph by I. Sameem (source). The bare-headed man on the far right is Afghan Border & Tribal Affairs Minister Asadullah Khalid. (Edited 9/2 to add: On September 2nd, 2012, Asadullah Khalid was nominated to head, and appointed as acting chief of, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security - the NDS intelligence agency - by President Karzai, despite Khalid's "brutal" reputation and "ruthless" track record.) Both men are also visible in this AP photograph by Allauddin Khan (source), as Khalid arranges for Haji Abdul Samad of Najiban, center, to talk to President Karzai by satellite phone from Camp Belamby on March 11.]] Based on what we've since learned about the four acknowledged murders in the extended Sayed Jan family in Alkozai (which took place in three separate homes and involved chasing a grandmother to her death in her neighbor's home - see Comments 12 + 13 in the preceding post and, especially, the long caption of the first photograph below), Agha Lalai's statement here may well be a reference to the four killings in the Habibullah Khan home.))
Afghanistan killings: gunman hunted families as if they were military targets
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 March 2012 19.12 GMT
Eventually, a lock gave way, and the gunshots that killed the first of 16 civilians meant the others, mostly women and children, were awake when he arrived to murder them, said Agha Lalai Dastagiri, a senior official charged with investigating the shooting spree in the early hours of Sunday morning.
"The house where four people were killed was the first one he entered, and they were all sleeping," Dastagiri said. "When people in the other houses heard the sound of the shooting they also woke up and were making noises or sitting on their beds when the American entered."
Mokhtar Amiri contributed to this report
From Agence France-Presse, reporting that Haji Noor Mohammad lost his grandfather, grandmother, a sister and a cousin March 11:
US soldier formally charged with 17 murders
24 Mar 2012, 11:42 am - Source: AFP
Haji Noor Mohammad, who lost his grandfather, grandmother, a sister and a cousin, told AFP: "I want the prosecution of this US soldier in Afghanistan not in the US."
But Mohammad said: "If he is truly crazy and had lost his memory then why he is appointed as a US soldier… ? Why is he not admitted to the hospital instead?"
Also of note (and added to the post August 12), given the rarity of any public statements by female Panjwai survivors, is the following account in Xinhua (China's large government-controlled news agency) - in the same article that quotes Anar Gul - by a female survivor named Rahila, who lost her brother (a man who could theoretically be Kaka Nazar Mohammad, Khudaydad, Mohammad Dawood, or someone else):
U.S. soldier rampage leaves Afghan families in pain
English.news.cn 2012-03-18 23:53:17
by Abdul Haleem, Yangtze Yan
"What is wrong with us that both Americans and Taliban kill us? Why the U.S. soldier committed this crime and killed my brother?" questioned Rahila, another lady who lost her brother in the rampage shooting.
"The Americans killed my brother in this house at mid-night [possibly, given multiple translations, meaning simply 'in the middle of the night'] without any reason. He is no more with us but who will look after his five children?" said a crying Rahila while pointing out finger towards a mud house where his [her] brother was gunned down by U.S. soldier.
A reminder, in case one's still needed, that SSG Bales did not "turn himself in" (to quote Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's statement to the press corps aboard his plane on March 12), nor confess (as Panetta said March 12 he "suspected" happened), nor "surrender" - on March 11, 2012, or since. On the contrary, as Article 32 testimony made clear, Bales was apprehended that night by fellow American soldiers - who'd learned before Bales returned [for the second time] that Afghan civilians had been shot - unwillingly, but without a fight:
[Civilian lawyer John Henry Browne, in an interview] stressed that [his client SSG Robert] Bales did not confess, as military officials have said, and seemed surprised when his weapon was taken away.
- Carol Leonnig, March 28, 2012, writing in the Washington Post
Mamoon Durrani has also told me that an Afghan soldier (Durrani may know his name and/or may have recorded his interview [see the Update to Comment 5 below for the soldier's identity]), who Durrani spoke to on March 11, was on Camp Belamby guard duty the night of the massacre, and saw either Bales, or another foreign soldier, at one of the two entrances/exits (per Durrani) of Camp Belamby. One entrance/exit faces North, according to Durrani, and the other faces South. The soldier Durrani spoke to was on duty at the South gate that night, and first noticed the foreign soldier when he returned to the base at midnight, from the South. An hour later (or at about 1:00 AM), the same guard saw a foreign soldier leave the base, headed South. At that point the Afghan guard reported the soldier's departure to Camp Belamby's ISAF Commander. [See Comment 5 below for more.] Durrani also reports that helicopters are based at Camp Belamby. [This aerial photograph of Combat Outpost Belamby, added to the post 12/11/12, makes it appear quite likely that there are indeed multiple entrances/exits to COP Belamby, opening both to the north and to the south - and yet I don't recall seeing any reports from the Article 32 hearing (which included testimony by two of the three Afghan Army guards interviewed by DatelineSBS in March) about which gate (or gates) the testifying guards monitored that night.]
Some photographs and screen-captures of key people and places, from each of the three locations now known to have been attacked on March 10-11, follow [the first photograph below, which I added to the post on October 7th, is a beautiful portrait of two of the boys from the affected families; in separate villages, both boys witnessed the Panjwai Massacre]:
ALKOZAI (including Ibrahim Khan Houses & Mosque)
(About .5 kilometer north/northeast of Camp Belamby; 4 killed; 7 wounded) _________________________________________________________________
Zardana [his 7-year-old granddaughter, shot in the head and now partially paralyzed] had asked Mr. Jaan [Haji Sayed Jan], 50, to bring back new clothes on a recent trip to the city, something he couldn't afford. "Whenever I go to the hospital and see her, I remember that time and her request," Mr. Jaan says. "I feel helpless and vulnerable, and just can't hold back tears."
- Sayed Jan, March 22 in the Wall Street Journal
(.75 KM south of Camp Belamby and 1/2 KM northeast of Najiban; 1 killed; 0 wounded) _________________________________________________________________
"Even millions of dollars would not be enough for my brother [Mohammad Dawood]. First they should give us justice and punish all the people who did this."
- Baran Akhon, aka Mullah Barraan, March 24 in the Associated Press
"We have a message for all the men and women of America and Britain," [Mohammad Dawood nephew] Toor Jan said. "You have sent us the terrorists. You have sent them (the NATO troops) to fight al Qaeda. But they are not fighting al Qaeda, but instead killing our children."
- Toor Jan ("Ali Ahmad"), March 19 on CNN International
NAJIBAN (aka Najebyan or Balandi)
(1-2 kilometers south/southwest of Camp Belamby; 11 killed; 0 wounded) _________________________________________________________________
"As a parent, you hate to see even your child's little finger hurt. Imagine losing 11 members of your family at once? I loved them all like they were parts of my own body. I miss all of them terribly."
"There was blood in the beds of my family, where they were killed. The bodies were all in my mother's room, piled together and burned black. The Americans had put blankets and pillows and wood pieces they ripped from the window frames and set it all on fire."
[...] [Mohammad Wazir] had driven to the [Kandahar city] interview about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Balandi, the village where his family has farmed wheat and pomegranates for four generations.
With the Army preparing to prosecute Bales, Wazir said he knows of only one eyewitness to the attack on his house: a woman named Palwasha from a neighboring home.
"Most of the neighbors heard the attack but they stayed hidden in their homes because they were afraid," Wazir said.
"Palwasha told me that the gunfire woke her about 2:30 in the night, and she came out and saw the light flashes from guns -- not one gun, but different guns -- at my house," Wazir said. "It was too dark to see the soldiers' uniforms, she told us."
Palwasha ran to hide, and "when the firing ended, she came and saw a fire burning in my house," Wazir said. "When the sun rose, she went in and saw that our people were dead." He said his neighbor's family has told him they are willing to make Palwasha available to testify at a U.S. trial.
Though details of Bales's life, family and finances have become public knowledge in the U.S., little has been reported even in Afghanistan about those who died that night. [...]
In the tradition of Afghanistan's ethnic Pashtun tribes men especially prize their sons, and Wazir spoke of his two who died. Faizullah, about 9, was a bit of an imp, he said. "He would find any chance to get someone's cell phone in his hands and find the games on it to play."
"My oldest son, Esmatullah, was 16. He was becoming a man, helping me with the farming, bringing me my lunch in the fields. Now I have no helper and I feel I have no life." - Haji Mohammad Wazir, March 23 in BusinessWeek