VOA, September 16, 2012
NATO Accused of Killing 8 Afghan Women in Airstrike
Afghan officials say NATO coalition forces have killed eight women and girls in an airstrike in a remote district of the country. The deaths come after three “insider” attacks in as many days by Afghan forces against international soldiers killed eight troops, including four Americans.
Sunday's airstrike came shortly before dawn, in Laghman province's Alingar district, east of Kabul. Villagers drove the bodies to the provincial capital, claiming they were killed by NATO aircraft while they were out gathering firewood before dawn.
A Laghman provincial government spokesman said the villagers were condemning the attack and shouting “Death to America!”
The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force initially said an air strike targeted around 45 insurgents, but later expressed condolences over “possible ISAF-caused civilian casualties” numbering five to eight.
Meanwhile, ISAF said four U.S. service members were killed Sunday in an “insider” attack in the southern part of the country.
Local authorities in Zabul province say the four Americans, were killed by an Afghan police officer. Coalition officials have not identified the service personnel.
Sunday's attack comes one day after two British solders were gunned down by an Afghan policeman in southern Helmand province.
The deadly attacks are the latest in a series of so-called green-on-blue “insider” attacks by Afghan forces against their international counterparts, threatening the military partnership between NATO and Kabul.
In another development, coalition officials say the insurgents who attacked a British military base in Afghanistan Friday, killing two U.S. Marines, were dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and were armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests.
The coalition says the 15 militants were organized into three teams and “executed a well-coordinated attack” against the airfield on Camp Bastion in Helmand province.
The alliance say the attackers destroyed six Harrier jets and “significantly damaged” two more. The militants also destroyed three coalition refueling stations and damaged six aircraft hangars.
International troops say they killed 14 of the insurgents and wounded one, who is in custody.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
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