HEARTS AND MINDS

Afghan Survivors Speak Out

Survivors of a series of American bombing raids on Farah Province in southwest Afghanistan are still unsure how many civilians were killed in their villages, as some bombs were so powerful that the dead were rendered all but indistinguishable. Human rights groups and Afghan officials put the number at at least 117, a number American officials dispute. Regardless of the final count, the bombings have created a public relations disaster in Afghanistan, where winning the civilian population's favor is crucial to defeating the Taliban. "Why do they target the Taliban inside the village?" one Afghan man whose daughter narrowly survived a bombing that killed seven members of a family told The New York Times. "Why don't they bomb them when they are outside the village?"