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


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

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

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

Airstrike video[edit | edit source]

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

By May 2010, WikiLeaks had an encrypted copy of the video it had received from U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) and was attempting to decrypt it.[14][15][16] In a March 2013 statement, Julian Assange said that, while the file was still in their possession, WikiLeaks had successfully decrypted the video and described it as documenting "a massacre, a war crime".[17] Assange blamed former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg for taking the video, who said he had deleted it along with 35,000 other files when he left WikiLeaks in September 2010. To date, the video has never been publicly released.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Campbell, Matthew (11 April 2010). "Whistleblowers on US ‘massacre’ fear CIA stalkers". London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7094234.ece. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 de Luce, Dan (8 June 2009). "We failed to follow bombing rules: Pentagon". Google. Archived from the original on 10 Aug 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100810003158/http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gYi4IDEtmbbgYaWKYw2vJ1kl2IEA. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shalizi, Hamid; Graff, Peter (16 May 2009). "U.S. strikes killed 140 villagers: Afghan probe". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE54E22V20090516. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  4. Gall, Carlotta; Shah, Taimoor (14 May 2009). "Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes newspaper". http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/world/asia/15farah.html. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  5. Boone, Jon; MacAskill, Ewen; Tran, Mark (6 May 2009). "US air strikes kill dozens of Afghan civilians". London. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/06/us-air-strikes-afghan-civilians. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Farmer, Ben (11 April 2010). "Wikileaks 'to release video of US strike on Afghan civilians'". London. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7579132/Wikileaks-to-release-video-of-US-strike-on-Afghan-civilians.html. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  7. Tran, Mark (3 June 2009). "US military admits errors in air strikes that killed scores of Afghan civilians". London. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/03/afghanistan-us-airstrikes-errors. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  8. Schmitt, Eric P; Shanker, Thom (2 June 2009). "US Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes". http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/world/asia/03military.html. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  9. Denselow, James (23 June 2010). "Hail to the whistleblowers". The Guardian. London. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/23/hail-whistleblowers-wikileaks. 
  10. "'More than 100' die in US-led air strike in Afghanistan". 6 May 2009. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/more-than-100-die-in-us-air-strike/story-e6frg6so-1225710397371. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  11. de Luce, Dan (18 June 2009). "US military debates release of Afghan air strike probe". Google. Archived from the original on 10 Aug 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100810003201/http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iHR81hAa4Ww2mp2_gWIG8PAHnvnA. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  12. Ellsberg, Daniel. "Obama Should Release the Garani Massacre Video to the American Public Immediately". 17 June 2012. http://www.ellsberg.net/archive/obama-should-release-garani-massacre-video-immediately. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  13. "With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information". Democracy now. June 17, 2010. http://www.democracynow.org/2010/6/17/wikileaks_whistleblowers. .
  14. McGreal, Chris (16 June 2010). "WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack". London. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jun/16/wikileaks-us-military-afghanistan-garani. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  15. Poulsen, Kevin; Zetter, Kim (6 June 2010). "U.S. Intelligence Analyst Arrested in Wikileaks Video Probe". http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/leak/. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  16. Savage, Charlie (1 March 2013). "Soldier Admits Providing Files to WikiLeaks". http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/us/bradley-manning-admits-giving-trove-of-military-data-to-wikileaks.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  17. "WikiLeaks has more US secrets, Assange says". March 5, 2013. AU: The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/national/wikileaks-has-more-us-secrets-assange-says-20130305-2fihd.html. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]


Coordinates: 32°37′19″N 62°26′06″E / 32.62194°N 62.435°E / 32.62194; 62.435

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