By Abasin Zaheer
Afghan and foreign forces killed 19 civilians, including women and children, during an operation on Sept. 20 in eastern Nuristan province, a parliamentarian said on Wednesday.
Militants had fled the Want Waigal district before the operation was launched, a Wolesi Jirga member from the province, Maulvi Ahadullah Mowahid, told a press conference in Kabul.
Mazhabyar said the mother, sister, wife and three children of a man named Ramadan were killed in a NATO-led airstrike. A member of the Nuristan High Peace Council Malak Juma Gul was also killed.
"For two days, foreign forces did not allow locals to collect the dead bodies that were eaten by animals," the legislator alleged, claiming provincial authorities were not taken into confidence over the operations.
Mowahid said a hospital and several shops in the remote district also came under attack during the offensive, he said.
Another member of the assembly from Nuristan, Hazrat Shah Nuristani, said tribal elder Juma Gul was stabbed to death and several locals were arrested by NATO-led troops. "Such actions only widen the gap between the government and the people."
Provincial council chief, Qazi Inayatullah Mazhabyar, said the district had been under the Taliban's control for the past six months but the fighters left it as a result of the operation.
"The combined force came to the district, killed innocent people and once again left Want Waigal to militants," he remarked.
But the 201 Selab Military Corps spokesman, Col. Noman Hatafi, insists there were no civilian causalities caused by Afghan-ISAF offensive.
The ISAF press office in Kabul said the alliance did not participate in the operation.