[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

NATO airstrike 'kills Afghan civilians'

Ten civilians, mostly women and children, among the victims of a bombing in Kunar province, local officials say.
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2013 09:36

A NATO airstrike has killed 10 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, in a raid on a suspected Taliban hideout in eastern Afghanistan, local officials have said.

The strike, in the Shigal district of Kunar province, was confirmed by NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). A spokesman said the alliance could not confirm civilian casualties.

"Foreign forces carried out the attack by themselves without informing us," Kunar governor Fazlullah Wahidi told the Reuters news agency.

Four Taliban fighters were also killed in the strike and five civilians wounded, he said.

A spokesman for ISAF told the AFP news agency that one of the fighters killed was a commander named Shahpoor.

The strike occurred in the village of Chawgam and the 10 dead civilians were from two local families, Wahidi said.

'Assessing the incident'

Major Adam Wojack, a spokesman for ISAF, said he was aware of an incident which "matched" the report from Kunar, but he could not confirm casualty numbers.

"We take all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and we are currently assessing the incident to determine more facts," Wojack said.

ISAF often says that it has reduced civilian casualties in recent years, and that fighters are now responsible for 84 per cent of all such deaths and injuries.

The airstrike came within hours of US President Barack Obama's declaration that he would be withdrawing half the US troops in Afghanistan, 34,000 in all, by the end of this year.  

That would be followed by further troop withdrawals next year which would lead to the end of the US war in Afghanistan, he said.

250

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list