by Jason Motlagh
The Washington Times
May 15, 2009HERAT, Afghanistan- Afghans who lost family members in a U.S. bombardment last week say Taliban militants fled hours before the U.S. attack -- an account that contrasts with Pentagon claims about an incident that has come to encapsulate an uphill battle for Afghan hearts and minds.
Haji Sayed Barakat, who lost two children and his wife of 35 years in the May 4 attack, said Taliban militants were present in the area but had moved on two hours before the U.S. air strikes. In a voice more confused than angry, the Afghan farmer gestured toward his three remaining daughters, now recovering in the sterile quarters of Herat hospital's new burn ward.
"My girls, do they look like Taliban?" he asked....