US military admits murdering 10 Afghan civilians, including 7 children

News Network
September 18, 2021

The US military has admitted killing 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, in a drone strike last month. Washington has previously claimed that those who killed were terrorists.

The Pentagon had maintained the August 29 strike targeted a Daesh-K terrorist who posed an imminent threat to American troops at the Kabul airport, with Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley calling it a "righteous strike.”  

But on Friday, General Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command, announced at the Pentagon that the military investigation has found it killed 10 civilians and the driver and that the vehicle targeted was not a threat associated with Daesh-K, a shadowy terrorist group that emerged following the last month bomb blast at the Kabul airport.  The attack killed scores of Afghans and over a dozen Americans.

McKenzie told reporters that the US military drone strike was a "mistake" and offered an apology.

"This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology," he said.

McKenzie added that he is "fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome."

Some media outlets had reported that the US drone strike apparently targeted the wrong man, killing an innocent Afghan aid worker along with members of his family, but the top US general described the attack as "righteous".

"At the time of the strike, I was confident that the strike had averted an imminent threat to our forces at the airport," McKenzie told reporters. "Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake."

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News Network
October 22,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 22: "It is a matter of pride for all of us that what, at one point of time, Lord Sri Ram and Sri Krishna did in Lanka and Mathura, the same was done by our forces in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday here.

Elaborating the statement, Singh said the 1971 war was one of the few wars which was neither fought to gain control of the land and sky, nor to gain power in any way, but to hand over the power to an able ruler and return.

"This is what Sri Ram and Sri Krishna did, giving reigns of power to able people belonging to the defeated nations," Singh said.

The main objective behind the 1971 Bangladesh war was to protect the dignity of humanity and democracy, he said addressing the IAF conclave as part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations here.

"What could be a better example of the great legacy of India's morality presented by our armies than the 1971 war, that our armies in Dhaka, even after ensuring complete victory, without causing any harm or imposing any kind of political control, handed them power and returned," Singh said.

After the World War II, the world saw the largest military surrender in which more than 93,000 soldiers surrendered simultaneously, he said.

"In just 14 days, Pakistan lost one-third of its army and 1/4th of its air force.

"This war proved to be historic in many ways and scholars and historians later called this war as a classic example of a 'Just War'," he said.

During the war, the Indian government's effort to join hands with the world's big countries and the Friendship Treaty with the Soviet Union also proved to be an important step, Singh said.

"When many powerful countries of the world directly refused to support India, Russia's support came in as a morale booster for the country and it was a great diplomatic achievement," he said.

This move created a framework in which the neighbouring opponents were neutralized and many difficulties in the path were eradicated, Singh said.

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News Network
October 19,2021

Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, Oct 19: Four more miscreants, including a prominent BJP leader who was seen inside the SUV that mowed down protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri, were arrested yesterday.

"Accused Sumit Jaiswal, Shishupal, Nandan Singh Bisht and Satya Prakash Tripathi have been arrested by Lakhimpur Kheri Police and SWAT team of Crime branch. Licensed revolver and three bullets were recovered from Satya Prakash Tripathi and seized," a statement released by senior police official Prashant Kumar said.

Local BJP leader Sumit Jaiswal, who was seen in a viral video escaping from the lead SUV in the convoy of vehicles that crushed the farmers, had earlier filed a murder FIR against unnamed farmers, claiming his driver, friend and two BJP workers were beaten to death after their vehicles lost control due to heavy stone pelting and accidentally hit farmers.

In the viral video, Mr Jaiswal was seen running from the Thar SUV that drove into protesters from behind.

Four farmers and a journalist were run over on October 3 by a convoy of three vehicles, one of which belongs to Union Minister of state for home, Ajay Mishra. Mr Mishra's son Ashish was arrested on October 9, five days after he was named in the murder related to the incident on charges which usually merit immediate arrest. The families of farmers who died alleged in their complaint to the police that Ashish was inside the lead SUV that crushed the farmers. His arrest followed 12 hours of police questioning which in turn came after an intervention by the Supreme Court. 

An FIR was lodged at the Tikonia police station on October 3 over the episode. Later, a counter-FIR was lodged at the same police station on the basis of a complaint by Sumit Jaiswal, who has now been arrested.

Sumit Jaiswal had also claimed that the protesters attacked Ashish Mishra's convoy, not the other way round. He also claimed the car was not moving, and it was the protesters that attacked the convoy.

"We were at the programme venue. There was an atmosphere of fear. They were armed with sticks and rocks and they kept attacking us, abusing us," he said. They also shouted "Khalistan Zindabad. They climbed the car," he said.

Ashish Mishra has denied the charge that he was at the crime scene when the murders took place; he has claimed he was in his paternal village (around two km away) and stayed there all day.

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News Network
October 18,2021

kerala-couple.jpg

Alappuzha, Oct 18: Amidst heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides in Kerala, there was a pleasant development of a couple -- both health workers -- braving flooded roads and reaching their wedding hall in a large aluminium cooking vessel to get married on Monday. 

They travelled nearly 500 metres on a traditional copper cooking vessel for their wedding held in a local temple at Thakazhi near Alappuzha. Both bride and groom are health workers working at a hospital in Chengannur.

Entering wedlock in a flooded hall at Thalavady adjacent to a nearby temple, where they were scheduled to get married initially and which too was filled with water, the couple was joined by a very limited number of relatives.

The couple -- Akash and Aishwarya -- were seen travelling in the cooking vessel. 

After their wedding, the couple told reporters -- who were covering the rising water levels in the district and had arrived at the hall after hearing about the nuptials -- that due to COVID they had kept invitees to a minimum.

They also said that since they had scheduled the wedding for Monday, they decided to go ahead with it as it was an auspicious event and did not want to delay it any further.

"We were not scared to travel in the vessel," said an excited Rahul while Aishwarya said, "We all are happy that the wedding took place at the planned auspicious time."

They said that when they arrived at the temple a few days ago, there was no water, but after the heavy rains in the past two days, the place got flooded. 

A relative who organised the 'vessel' trip said, "Some areas near the temple were almost submerged but we managed to bring both the bride and the groom on time."

Since torrential rains hit the state on Friday afternoon which continued partly till Sunday, the Kuttanad area of Alappuzha had submerged due to severe rains, the roads in the area were completely submerged on Monday.

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