US forces are systematically destroying hundreds or, by some estimates, even thousands of homes in newly-captured parts of Kandahar, after finding that they’d been booby-trapped by the Taliban, the New York Times reports. NATO has been attempting to compensate the homeowners, but the effort still isn’t going over well in the area, with many locals complaining that the demolitions are going much farther than necessary.
In some heavily contested districts, troops are destroying almost every unoccupied building they find, using everything from armored bulldozers to airstrikes. In these areas, authorities say they’ve stopped trying to find owners and ask their permission, because it’s too hard to find them. “We don’t know the accurate number of homes destroyed, but it’s huge,” said a spokesman for Kandahar’s governor. But he added, “It’s the insurgents … that are to blame for this destruction.” (Read more Afghanistan stories.)