Posted By: Rebecca W., Erica in Afghanistan

Goli’s hand is twisted and scarred. His leg and chest is also a knot of scars, threading across his skin. His uncle, Haji, still has his foot in a bandage – two years after the ISAF forces mistakenly bombed their village. And his left leg consists principally of bone and sinew, a mere shadow of the healthy leg that he once used to farm his land.

Goli's injured leg prevents him from earning a living as a farmer, as he once did.

Goli's injured leg.

Two years ago, ISAF forces bombed the village where Goli and Haji lived because the Taliban were nearby, crossing a road from one area to the next. The bombing began at 11pm. Haji described to me how he was sleeping in the courtyard of his house and “saw bright lights like lightning and a loud sound like a bomb.”

The first bomb hit his neighbor’s house. Twelve people were killed there and seven injured. The second bomb was dropped on the house where Haji and Goli were living and six family members were killed. The firing and shelling then continued from a helicopter and from B-52s and lasted for five hours. Twelve people were killed by the gunshots and rocket fire and fourteen people were injured.

In total, Goli and Haji lost sixteen members of their family. Two of Goli’s brothers were killed. One died alongside his wife and four of his children. One child remains from that family unit. The other brother was killed along with one of his daughters and three of his sons. The wife remains alive, but is severely injured. Goli and Haji were both severely burned and shrapnel became embedded in their bodies. Pieces of metal still remain under their skin. Goli also described how his sister was so injured that she can no longer eat by herself. And another of his brothers lost one leg and is paralyzed in the other. He is now in a wheelchair.

Image courtesy of CIVIC