PAN: An airstrike by NATO-led forces killed an Afghan army soldier along with five family members in the Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, officials and relatives said on February 21, 2011. The soldier, his wife and four children died in the overnight raid in the Qilgha village, Khogyani district chief, Mohammad Hasan, told Pajhwok Afghan News after visiting the bereaved family. (Photo: PAN)
Kabul - Fire from a NATO helicopter allegedly killed five civilians including two children in north-eastern Afghanistan Thursday after mistaking them for militants, a local official said.
The pre-dawn strike happened as the civilians were climbing a mountain for bird-hunting in Ala Sai district of Kapisa province, Mullah Mohammad Omari, the district chief, said.
'Three of the men were carrying hunting guns and the NATO helicopter mistook them for militants,' Omari told the German Press Agency dpa. Taliban militants are active in the Dra Shepi area where the incident took place, he said.
The dead included a father, his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old nephew, Omari said.
'The government has banned hunting in this area because of the presence of enemies, but these families are very poor. They don't have meat for months, so I can't really blame them,' he added.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force has not commented on the incident.