September 27th, 2006


U.S./Coalition soldiers help to 'starve out' Afghanis.

Residents of the Korangal valley of eastern Kunar province report that Coalition troops have blocked all food and medical aid from reaching them, and are not even allowing the sick to evacuate. As a result, there are reports that several villagers have died because they have been unable to get medical attention, and that food is running low.

Troops with the US-led coalition are helping to enforce the blockade, a US military spokesman told AFP.

"We've closed their road," provincial governor Shalizai Didar said. "We won't allow any supply to their villages until they stop helping Taliban and other terrorists."

A resident told AFP by telephone that there were "lots of Taliban in our villages" in the mountainous, wooded valley, which provides easy cover for the rebels, "but we don't help them. Instead they force us to help them, they force us to get them food and shelter . . . We are caught in between two forces. The Taliban accuse us of helping the government and the government says we help the Taliban."

Except, of course, the Taliban aren't trying to starve them to death. 

Ah, winning the hearts and minds...