PAN, July 26, 2011

ISAF airstrike kills civilians in Kunar

Over the past few months, dozens of civilians have been killed or injured in ISAF operations

By Khan Wali Salarzai

Three civilians, including two students, were killed and six others wounded late on Monday in a clash between foreign troops and Taliban in eastern Kunar province, officials said on Tuesday.

Governor Syed Fazlullah Wahidi told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban attacked an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base in the Watapur district. A shell fired by the rebels hit a house, injuring four members of a family. The injured were rushed to hospital.

Boy injured in foreign airstrike
Photo: PAN

Wahidi said ISAF bombed the area from which the shell was fired. He added that the NATO-led force missed the target, killing three civilians and wounding a fourth after civilian houses were struck. He said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

Dr. Farooq Sahak, director of the Asadabad Civilian Hospital, said the hospital had admitted five injured from the Watapur district. He said all were in stable condition.

Rahmanullah, who was attending to his injured relative in the hospital, told Pajhwok Afghan News two of his cousins were killed and a third wounded in the ISAF airstrike.

He added that the dead were students of Watapur High School and had gone to a mountain to collect firewood when they were hit in the strike.

Deputy Director of Education Abdul Qahar confirmed that two students were killed in the ISAF strike.

However, ISAF said in a brief statement that 3 insurgents were killed in Watapor district. "We have no operational reporting about civilians killed by ISAF," the statement added.

Over the past few months, dozens of civilians have been killed or injured in ISAF operations. On March 1, 2011, an ISAF raid killed eight children in the Manogai district as they were collecting firewood in the Nanglam valley.

The NATO-led troops killed a female doctor along with two family members in the Syedabad district of central Maidan Wardak province on July 21, the Ghazni Civil Hospital director said on Saturday.

In Helmand, 14 people, including five girls, seven boys and two women, were killed when ISAF struck two houses in the Nawzad district on May 29. The incident angered President Hamid Karzai,who warned international forces would be viewed as occupation troops if they did not stop nighttime raids that cause civilians casualties.

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