PAN, April 23, 2011
Civilians among 13 dead in Kapisa fighting
"In today's fighting, several innocent people suffered casualties due to shells landing inside their houses"
More than a dozen people, including six civilians, have been killed in an ongoing firefight between insurgents and NATO-led soldiers in the Alasai district of central Kapisa province, officials said on Saturday.
"With the clash still in progress, seven insurgents and six ordinary people have so far been killed, and there are fears of more casualties," Alasai district chief, Mullah Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The wounded people could not be taken to the hospital because of the fighting, he said, adding that the dead included two members of a family, whose house was hit by a shell. Another six people were wounded.
District police chief, Mangarai Khan, said five guerrillas were killed and the number of civilian fatalities was even higher. The area where the militants were active in the morning had been cleared, and was being controlled by foreign soldiers, he said.
A provincial council member, Najibullah, said a number of houses were damaged as a result of shelling. He would not explain whether the shells were fired by foreign troops or insurgents.
"In today's fighting, several innocent people suffered casualties due to shells landing inside their houses," alleged Rafiqullah, a resident of the Sharokhel village. Alasai residents got refuge in government buildings after being forced from homes by the firefight.
The clash erupted soon after foreign troops launched an operation in the area, where a coalition aircraft suffered a hard landing early in the morning.
Some shells landed in houses, forcing residents to flee and seek shelter in schools, healthcare centres and other government buildings, said a man from the Rah-i-Sang area, Mohammad Jafar. "Two of my neighbours were wounded."
Another resident, Amanullah, said: "One of my friends died after being hit by a stray bullet." said. Shells have landed in several houses, he claimed. Many could not come out of their houses due to the fighting.
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