8 May 2009

Villagers claim 147 killed in Afghan strike

11:01 pm on 8 May 2009

Residents of two villages hit earlier this week by American air strikes say 147 people were killed in the attacks.

Farah Province deputy governor Yunus Rasooli says residents of the village of Geraani had prepared a list with 90 names, while residents of neighbouring Ganj Abad village had provided 57.

Mr Rasooli says the lists include the names of eight school children provided by the Ministry of Education.

The two villages were struck by United States warplanes during a battle in another nearby village.

Officials are still investigating the incident and confirming the names.

If the civilian toll is confirmed, the incident would be the deadliest for civilians since US-led forces first started battling the Taliban in 2001.

Washington acknowledges bombing the villages during the battle, but US and Afghan authorities have yet to give an official account of the incident, saying the investigation is still being conducted.