Lejay, Afghanistan

Lejay, Afghanistan

Infobox Settlement
official_name =Lejay

map_caption =Lejay, and some major cities of Afghanistan.
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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|Afghanistan
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Helmand Province
subdivision_type2 = District
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latd=33|latm=09 |lats=|latNS=N
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Lejay, Afghanistan is a small village where an ambush of an American convoy took place on February 10 2003. [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_27_1901-1948.pdf#1 Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Abdul Bagi's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 1-12] [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/ARB_Transcript_Set_10_21352-21661..pdf Summarized transcript (.pdf)] , from Rahmatullah's "Administrative Review Board hearing" - page 49] The Americans rounded up dozens of prisoners. By one account, the Americans rounded up 70 Afghans. Another account said they rounded up 40 Afghans. The Americans selected some of the men they rounded up;most of the men were released. They selected the men whose clothes appeared to have blood or gunpowder stains on them, or who were wearing army surplus jackets, or who appeared to have suffered temporary hearing impairment from firing weapons.

According to the evidence produced at the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, some of the men who were not released were sent to the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, in Cuba.

Press reports of the military action in the neighborhood of Lejay

Coalition forces conducted an aerial campaign against the neighborhood of Lejay.cite news
title=U.S. bombers pound Afghan caves
date=February 13 2003
Haji Pir Mohammad, the deputy governor of Helmand, led a six-man investigative team to the region, to investigate villager's reports of a massive American aerial bombardment.cite news
title=Afghans Say More Civilians Die in U.S.-Led Raids
date=February 13 2003
author=Mirwais Afghan
] Pir Mohammad reported that he had seen 17 Afghan casualties, but he could not state whether the casualties were Afghan civilians, or enemy fighters, wearing civilian clothes.

"Reuters" interviewed Afghan official Haji Mohammad Wali, by phone, from Lashkargah, Helmand's capital. According to his account the civilian casualties were mainly women and children.

"Reuters" quoted a villager from the region who recounted seeing a home that had been demolished by the bombing, killing eight members of the family that had lived there.

Colonel Roger King, a US military spokesman, told reporters that the US Special Forces hunting the ambushers believed they were hunting between thirty and one hundred fighters. He informed reporters that American troops had found ammunition casings and empty rocket tubes. He called the reports of civilian casualties "unsupported". He stated that the US aerial bombardment had been confined to caves, and the ridgeline east and west of Lejay.

According to King: "Battle damage assessment conducted in support of operation Eagle Fury has not indicated any non-combatant casualties to date,"

Inconsistent reports of the scale of the US operations

Press reports of the scale of the bombardment King reported were inconsistent.

* On February 12 2003, the "New York Times" quoted King as acknowledging coalition focrces dropping almost 20 2,000 pound bombs.cite news
title=Afghans Report 17 Civilian Deaths in U.S.-Led Bombing
date= February 12, 2003
* On February 12 2003, the "Sydney Morning Herald" quoted King acknowledging "Close air support was requested, and coalition F-16s dropped five 500-pound bombs."cite news
date=February 12 2003
publisher=Sydney Morning Herald
title=Coalition warplanes bomb Afghan caves after ambush
* On February 13 2003, "Reuters" quoted King acknowledging that the US had dropped a single 2,000 pound bomb, and fired ten 105mm cannon rounds from an AC130 aerial gunship.cite news
title=Afghans Say More Civilians Die in U.S.-Led Raids
date=February 13 2003
author=Mirwais Afghan
* On February 13 2003, "The Guardian" reported that the region had been subjected to an eight hour bombardment, from a mixed force of B1 and B52 bombers.cite news
title=17 Afghan villagers 'killed in American bombing raids'
author=Rory McCarthy
date= February 13, 2003
publisher=The Guardian
* On February 14 2003, the "BBC" quoted King acknowledging that the coalition had dropped four 500 pound bombs.cite news
url=Coalition forces step up Afghan raids
date=February 14 2003

Allegations, testimony and status of the Lejay villagers

963 || Abdul Bagi |
964 || Rahmatullah || . |
972 || Alif Mohammed || . |


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