The Gulf Today, August 27, 2011

Afghan airstrike, bombs kill 16

Meanwhile, two people died and 14 others were wounded when a bomb explosion hit a mosque during Friday prayers

PULI ALAM: Six Afghan civilians from the same family were killed by a coalition air strike in the insurgent-hit east of the country, local officials said on Friday.

A spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said he could not confirm civilians were killed but that several insurgents were among the dead in the operation at around midnight on Thursday in Logar province.

Logar provincial police chief Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewani said the operation targeted a Taliban commander with a bounty on his head known as Qari Hijran and had also killed civilians.

“Four Taliban militants were killed along with three Afghan army and six members of a family during the incident,” he said.

The top official in the district of Baraki Barak where the incident happened, Mohammad Rahim Amin, claimed it occurred when a local teacher provided shelter for the commander in his home.

An Isaf spokesman in Kabul said he could confirm that several insurgents were killed in the operation but not that civilians were among the dead, adding the foreign force was looking into the matter.

Meanwhile, two people died and 14 others were wounded when a bomb explosion hit a mosque during Friday prayers in northern Afghanistan, police said.

The bomb, attached to a motorcycle parked inside the mosque compound in the town of Almar, Faryab province, went off as hundreds of people were leaving the main weekly prayer session, provincial police chief Sayed Mohammad Samey said.

“Two people have been killed and 14 others injured as a result of the bomb explosion in the mosque,” Samey said, adding that all the victims were civilians. The target of the attack was not immediately clear but it took place minutes after the district police chief left the mosque, Samey said.

In a separate incident Friday, an elderly woman was killed in the western city of Herat when a handcart exploded. The blast also injured seven civilians, the interior ministry added in a statement.

A roadside bomb in Khinjan district of Baghlan province killed one soldier and injured three others, an Afghan officer said.

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