Civilians killed in Afghan raids

Women and children among the dead after an operation targeting a Taliban commander.

    US-led forces in Afghanistan said they were investigating the incidents [EPA]

    A total of 1,977 civilians were killed in 2007 in fighting in Afghanistan, including nearly 240 who lost their lives in air strikes by foreign troops, Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, a body that monitors security for non-governmental organisations, says.
     
    Afghan leaders have repeatedly called on international forces to exercise more care when choosing targets.
     
    The strike in Farah late on Sunday, involving ground and air forces, took place in Bakwa district, and killed two women, three children and four men, the district chief said.
     
    Conflicting accounts
     
    Ghulam Mohaidun Balouch, Farah's governor, said that most of the dead were Taliban fighters.
     
    "Among the 10, eight are Taliban plus the wife of the commander and his child," he said.
     
    Balouch said Italian Nato troops, who are based in the nearby province of Herat, were involved but the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said none of its aircraft were involved in any air strikes in Farah.
     
    In another development, Nato-led troops raided a civilian house overnight in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, killing a man and a child, Mohammad Hussain Andiwal, provincial police chief, told the AFP news agency.
     
    He said: "The forces have killed the owner of the house and a little girl."
     
    Uruzgan violence
     
    Separately, Afghan forces killed nearly 10 Taliban fighters during a sweep in the Deh Rawood district of Uruzgan province on Sunday, Juma Gul Hemat, the provincial police chief, said.
     
    The operation, led by Afghan police, was still going on, he said.
     
    "Nine Taliban were killed. Eight Taliban bodies were left at the battlefield. There were no casualties to police forces," Himat said.
     
    Two US non-governmental studies last week said that without new international efforts to win the war and develop the economy, Afghanistan could once again become a failed state and "terrorist" haven.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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