Reuters, August 17, 2008
British Kill 4 Civilians in Afghanistan
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said women and children were among the casualties
LONDON — British troops accidentally killed four civilians and wounded three others with rockets during an operation against Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan, NATO and British officials said Sunday.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said women and children were among the casualties, but it did not detail whether they were dead or wounded.
Three children of a family were killed in the airstrike of NATO forces in central Logar province, a Logar MP claimed on Friday. He said three children including a boy and two girls were killed in the strike while a pickup and a tractor were also destroyed besides killing 15 sheeps.
Pajhowk Afghan News, Aug. 15, 2008
The British Ministry of Defense said British paratroopers were involved in the episode in the Sangin district of Helmand Province on Saturday. It said the alliance and British forces would investigate.
The alliance force said a patrol had spotted insurgents with weapons preparing to attack from the roof of a compound. “In order to protect themselves,” it said in a statement, the British soldiers “launched three rockets, all of which hit the target. Unbeknown to the patrol, the civilians were inside the compound.”
The force “deeply regrets the tragedy,” the statement added.
About 115 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since late 2001. Most of Britain’s force of 8,000 in Afghanistan is based in Helmand, which has been the focus of intense fighting.
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