Afghan probe team finds 17 civilians killed in NATO airstrike

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-14 14:55:06

An Afghan investigation team assigned by President Hamid Karzai found 17 civilians had been killed in NATO-led forces airstrike in eastern province of Kunar earlier this month, said a statement of Presidential Palace on Sunday.

"As the reports confirm that armed Taliban were there in the area, therefore we strongly condemn the use of civilians and their homes as shields by the Taliban as well as we do not accept the conduct of any air strike on residential areas under any name and for any purpose whatsoever," Karzai noted in the statement.

The fact-finding team in the report which presented to the president on Saturday said"since the homes are made of wood and mud in those villages therefore they collapsed as a result of waves caused by the air-strike, leaving totally 17 people dead including 12 children, four women and one man and 12 others wounded which also include children, women and men".

According to the findings, the security forces began operations in a bid to arrest two commanders of the Taliban named Qari Mohammad Hanif and Ali Khan but while leaving the area, they were ambushed by the armed opponents with light and heavy weapons, leaving an American Advisor dead in the incident.

U.S. forces called in air support for transportation of their victim and as per their call and NATO planes arrived and bombed the target homes for hours, the statement added.

President Karzai, in the statement, said that the"act by the NATO-led forces was a violation of human rights and the presidential order which bans air strikes during operations in residential areas".

The president also instructed the Office of Administrative Affairs to immediately provide assistance necessary for the families who sustained losses in the deadly incident.

Earlier reports said that 10 children aging from 4 to 12 were killed and six women wounded in the bombing which took place in Shelton area of Shigal district in the volatile Kunar province 185 km east of Afghan capital Kabul.

Posted in: Mid-East, Air & Space

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