Thurs F18 fighter bangs against the gray stone houses in the village of Bala Baluk Grenari region of Afghanistan 4 May 2009. The last few hours there has been intense fighting between international forces and the Taliban. When darkness falls, followed by those of a B1 bomber who release their deadly cargo. The first bombs hit the target - a group of Taliban fighters. Bombs add mosque in ruins.

Flight crew do not have a total of nine bombs, the last at 21.12. The village turned into an inferno of screaming, mangled and blood people. Six-year-old Nazanin is one of the survivors, but large parts of the family are killed.

PR wars

It does not take many hours before the event when all the world, and PR campaign starts. Afghan officials and Taliban claims that over 140 civilians have been killed.

- We will never know the exact number, "U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry at a news conference.

- "Dozens" of people were killed, said the Red Cross commander in Afghanistan, Reto Stocker.

- 26 civilians and 78 Taliban fighters were killed, the U.S. concluded an investigation commission.

Hold facts skjult

Secret documents Aftenposten found among the 250,000 leaked Wikileaks documents tells a different story about one of the bloodiest events in the Afghanistan war. This is one of many examples of how NATO was trying to hide how many civilians were killed.

Kai Eide: - Jeg angrer. FNs spesialutsending ble ført bak lyset, slik at han ikke skulle kritisere massakren hvor Nazanin mistet det meste av sin familie.

Kai Eide: - I regret. UN special envoy was hoodwinked, so he should not criticize the massacre where Nazanin lost most of his family.

13. June 2009 found a remarkable meeting took place at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. It submits the leader of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, Reto Stocker a comprehensive report with exact figures for the United States Kabul Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry. Red Cross boss promises Americans that the report will not be published. It is a promise the Red Cross so far has held.

Stocker explains how the Red Cross arrived at the Bala Baluk day after the bombing. Within 13 days of investigation, more than 50 survivors interviewed, who told of "the families who fled from the battle with parents who bore children in their arms."

The conclusion to the Red Cross has to date been a U.S. state secret:

"Stocker said he with a high degree of security meant that 89 civilians were killed." 47 civilians were killed in the second attack, while the third and last bomb killed 42 villagers, concluded the Red Cross.

"They found the body parts that were not possible to bury in an ordinary funeral," said the eyewitnesses.

Parents and children fleeing

Bala Baluk massacre received considerable attention in the first days. So let NATO and the United States until an edited video from the fighters of both the UN and Red Cross, which was to prove that most fatalities friends for six-year-old Nazanin was Taliban fighters.

Wikileaks documents tells a different story. The Red Cross said the pictures showed women, children and families desperately fleeing from the fighting in the narrow alleys, which converge into the houses before they were bombed. Trained Taliban soldiers hiding not in a large cluster in the house next door when their first residence is bombed.

"It would vært ulogisk," said Stocker.

"But it would be logical for civilians to seek refuge together to escape the fighting."

"Meget troverdig"

In the report back to Washington DC Eikenberry pointed out that the report was "really careful" and can "help us to find the truth." Stocker He described as "one of the most trusted source of independent and objective information in Afghanistan, after 4 years as head of the Red Cross in the country."

Since the report was placed in the tray. It was not mentioned with one word when the U.S. investigation concluded that 26 civilians were killed. U.S. and NATO, however, recommended changing the "existing guidelines" in "situations involving potential for civilian casualties."

Eide regrets

Former UN Special Representative in Afghanistan Kai Eide said that he refrained from publishing a highly critical statement about the Bala Baluk after a meeting with the American general who investigated the massacre.

- In our investigations we came to 64 killed, but when we included only women and children. We did not expect some men, since it could be a possibility that some of them were Taliban members. I met with General Raymond A. Thomas, who led the American investigators. He showed several hours of video footage from the fighting and the attack, and his conclusion was that nothing wrong had happened. I did not send out the statement in the belief that the general spoke true. It turned out not to vote, and I regret that we announced earlier statement. These months were also a turning point in my confidence in the military forces and the information they gave us, "said Eide.

Allows secrecy

- This was a confidential report in which we took up our humanitarian concerns directly with the authorities or the parties to the conflict, "said spokesman for the International Red Cross in Geneva Sebastien Carliez.

- Is not it the Red Cross' interest that the truth of such an event becomes publicly known?

- This is standard procedure to ensure maximum protection in the short and long term, both for civilian and other parties affected by the hostilities.

Infant School in Paktika

18. June 2007: Seven schoolchildren were killed in a U.S. air strike in Zarghun Shah in Paktika province. NATO blamed the children were used as human shields by the Taliban.

"The discussion revealed deep concerns among the allies about the near daily news from the Theatre of civilian losses", according to secret minutes of the NATO Council 20 June 2007. Spain questioned about the "collateral damage" - collateral damage - was "assessed against what people expect to achieve, as well as reactions from the media and the public." Several public reports of civilian casualties could lead to the Bundestag not renewed mandate in Afghanistan, warned Germany.

Bomb Feil Ingen i Herat

29. April 2007: At least 25 civilians killed in Zerkoh in Herat province in a series of air raids during operations of U.S. Special Forces. The Allies claimed initially that no civilians were killed. In one week, lost 50 civilian lives in the NATO attacks. After media reports were the NATO Council agreed that Americans respond:

"NATO must be prepared in the future to respond to allegations of civilian casualties in minutes, as the Taliban increasingly uses civilians as shields," said U.S. Ambassador to NATO Victoria Nuland.

Bryllupet the Wech Baghtu

37 civilians - mostly women and children - were killed 3 November 2008 after the air attack against the village Wech Baghtu in Kandahar province, while villagers celebrated the wedding.

"Canada questioned ISAF's" precision and efficiency "when, assessing whether the operations were a success", according to minutes of the NATO Council meeting 18 December 2008. How did ISAF to see the difference between civilians and insurgents, asked Canadians.


Midnight 21 August 2008: Allied and Afghan forces move into the village of Nawabad in Shindand district. During the fighting at least seven houses will be bombed. United Nations concluded that 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children and 15 women. The case led to a strong outcome from President Hamid Karzai to NATO, ISAF and the U.S..

"While civilian casualties and damage is always regrettable, we must remind the public that it is the Taliban who unscrupulously put civilians in danger," said U.S. Ambassador to NATO Victoria Nuland.

Kunduz massacre

U.S. fighter jets called in by the German ISAF troops bombed 4 September 2009 two tank cars that rebels had taken. Tank cars jammed, and the rebels asked the locals get free gasoline. 70-90 people were killed, mostly civilians. "German authorities are upset about some unhelpful remarks from some allies in the wake of Kunduz, especially press coverage of allegations of US-German differences over the operation," said the NATO Council's meeting. Germany called "alliance solidarity and a joint press strategy."

"This could happen to anybody," said several NATO allies.

70-90 personer, de fleste sivile, ble drept i angrepet i Kunduz-provinsen i 2009. ARKIVFOTO: MASSOUD HOSSAINI, AFP

70-90 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack in Kunduz province in 2009. PHOTO ARCHIVE: Massoud HOSSAINI, AFP