May 26, 2005

Guardians of accuracy, contd.

LGF's latest entry into the Newsweek riot story: maybe no one actually died!

Of course, that would mean Newsweek did nothing wrong, right? Unfortunately, it's not true. LGF's source:

Not a single name of even one victim has been released. No details of the circumstances of the riots were released from any official sources -- either U.S. or Afghan.

Who were these victims? Were they rioters killed by police or military forces? Were they innocent victims attacked by fanatics? Were they Afghanis? Were they relief workers?

G2B has examined every English-language news story about these deaths through Lexis Nexis. G2B has scoured the Internet, including foreign and non-English-language news sources for any details of these deaths.

They might want to invest in some Google lessons. From Agence France-Presse, May 11 (reprinted at Common Dreams and about a hundred other places):

"Police opened fire in the air to control the mob, and some people were injured. We do not know how many," Jalalabad city police chief Abdul Rehman said.

"Initially the demonstrators were peaceful but then a group joined them and the mob turned violent," he added.

"They set fire to the governor's office, they set fire to a number of police posts, they set fire to some NGOs, damaged a part of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan office, they also set fire to the Pakistani consulate. But things are under control."

Two people were "martyred" at the scene and two others apparently died in hospital, hospital's chief director Fazel Mohammad Ibrahimi told AFP after a survey of the city's three hospitals.

Another 53 injured people, four of them in a critical condition, were in hospital while many others were treated for light injuries at both, he said...

From Pakistan News International:

Deputy health chief Mohammed Ayub Shinwari said two of the dead had been fatally shot, and many of the injured had also suffered gunshot wounds.

Another 53 injured people, four of them in a critical condition, were in hospital while many others were treated for light injuries at both, Fazel said. But the interior ministry later put the number of injured at 71. The ministry didn't identify the victims, however, Shinwari said most of the injured were students.

Same source, next day:

In the southeastern city of Ghazni, witnesses said shooting broke out after protesters swarmed toward a police station and the governor's residence after Friday prayers chanting "Death to America" and pelting the buildings with rocks. Shafiqullah Shafaq, a doctor at the city hospital, told AP that two civilians and a police officer were fatally shot and 21 people wounded, including the provincial police chief.

In northeastern Badakhshan, three men were killed when police fired to control hundreds of protesters in Baharak district, Governor Abdul Majid told AP. Another 22 people were reported hurt, including three police officers.

Another man was killed in the northwest when police opened fire during a protest after prayers in Qala-e-Naw, capital of Badghis province, provincial police chief Amir Shah Naibzada told AP.

Four demonstrators suffered bullet wounds in a clash with police and government troops in Gardez, near the Pakistani border, and one died later in hospital, provincial police chief Hay Gul Suleyman Khel said.

And in a stunning display in the value of LGF's comments board, as of 4:15 EST they were at 497 comments on this post, and with a singular exception no one has questioned it yet.

Posted by BruceR at 04:11 PM