PAN, June 10, 2009
Children Among 20 Killed in Coalition Bombing Raid in Ghor Province
Nine children and 11 suspected Taliban insurgents were killed in a Coalition bombing raid in the northwestern Ghor province
Muhammad Hassan Hakimi
CHAGHCHARAN/KABUL: Nine children and 11 suspected Taliban insurgents were killed in a Coalition bombing raid in the northwestern Ghor province, a police officer said on Wednesday.
Acting police chief Col. Zainul Abidin told Pajhwok Afghan News the airstrike by US-led forces in Shahrak district targeted dreaded Taliban commander Mullah Mustafa and his accomplices.
Some reports indicated the warlord was among the fatalities, said the official, who hastened to explain the commander's death could not be confirmed independently.
He added the Coalition bombed the militant commander who was shifting a vehicle snatched earlier on from foreign troops to an area in the district. A Russian-made Kamaz truck was also destroyed in the airstrike.Earlier, the US military claimed the Taliban commander -- responsible for attacks along the main highway in border areas -- and 16 of his associates were killed the precision airstrike by Coalition forces.
Mullah Mustafa, allegedly behind a string of attacks in the border areas of Ghor and Herat provinces, was hiding in a remote, mountainous area of Shahrak district, the military said.
The commander reportedly acquired six remote-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and was distributing them to his subordinates for use against Coalition forces.
"Yesterday, coalition forces observed Mustafa moving by vehicle from the compound. When he stopped in a remote area, he was joined by multiple militants," the statement added.
The forces used precision aerial munitions to strike the group, killing Mustafa and 16 other associated militants, according to the press release that said the commander of approximately 100 fighters in western Afghanistan had recently met senior Taliban leaders and reportedly had connections to Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps called the al-Quds Force.
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