Children among 20 killed in ISAF air raids
By Zainullah and Abdul Latif Ayubion
LASHKARGAH/QALA-I-NAW: A mother and her five children were among 20 civilians killed in two separate airstrikes in the southern Helmand and northwestern Badghis provinces, officials said on Monday.
The first incident took place late on Friday when an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopter missed its target and dropped bombs on a house in the Fatih Mohammad Pech area of Sangin district in Helmand, the governor’s spokesman said.
Daud Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News instead of striking a militant hideout, the foreign forces killed a mother, her three daughters and two sons. The governor’s office has dispatched a delegation to the area to investigate the incident.
Governor Gulab Mangal condemned the mistaken raid and asked NATO-led troops to immediately probe the killing, his spokesman added.
In response to an emailed query from Pajhwok, ISAF said: “We are aware of an allegation of civilian casualties in southern Afghanistan and currently gathering all the facts in order to be able to make a full assessment of the situation.”
Separately, 14 civilians were killed and six others wounded in another airstrike by the international forces in Bala Murghab district of northwestern Badghis province.
The raid occurred on Sunday night in the Nawboor village, said acting provincial police chief Col. Ghulam Nabi. The incident was under investigation, he added.
Foreign soldiers, trying to capture Taliban commander Mullah Abdullah Soori, who sought refuge in the village, bombed the place and killed 14 civilians and injured seven others.
“The helicopters of foreign forces bombed two houses in the village,” a resident said on condition of anonymity. He had no details about casualties.
Meanwhile, the ISAF media office confirmed the operation. However, it was not aware of civilian casualties. The 50-nation force said three militants were killed in the airstrike, the first since March 21.