US seizes Afghan shooting footage

US forces confiscate news cameras after civilians die in eastern province shooting.

    Footage obtained by Al Jazeera showed the aftermath of the incident in Nangarhar province

    'Complete lie'

    Witnesses say the suicide bomber had acted alone, that there were no accomplices and that US troops had panicked, firing at anything that moved immediately after the attack.

     

    "We don't train or order our troops to fire on unarmed civilians, and it's uncertain at this time what caused the casualties"

    Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta, coalition forces spokesman

    One told Al Jazeera: "There were no gunmen, this is a complete lie. This is a peaceful area, we don't have guns."

     

    The dead included an 80-year-old man, whose grandson said: "A bomb exploded, my grandfather sat in a car and at that time American soldiers were shooting into my grandfather's car."

     

    Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, condemned the killings earlier on Monday and ordered an investigation into Sunday's attack.

    His office and the Afghan interior ministry on Monday put the death toll at 10 civilians while the coalition late on Sunday said eight Afghans were killed and 35 wounded.

    Response

    Responding to Al Jazeera's discovery of the footage, a spokesman for the US contingent within the international force insisted US troops acted in self-defence.

     

    "We regret the loss of life of the Afghan civilians, but coalition forces were attacked by both a suicide bomb vehicle and small arms fire.

    "Our forces returned fire in self-defence against numerous enemy positions," said Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta, coalition forces spokesman.

     

    "We don't train or order our troops to fire on unarmed civilians, and it's uncertain at this time what caused the casualties.

    "But it's important to note that the extremists conducted this attack in an area that they knew would cause civilian casualties," he said.

     

    Civilian deaths

     

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    "Nato has done what they wanted to do. Now they should just leave Afghanistan and let people live their lives without anybody's help"

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    In a separate incident, nine civilians, including two children, were killed after a Nato air attack hit a house in northern Afghanistan, according to a local official.

    Sayed Daud Hashimi, a deputy provincial governor in the Kapisa province, said five women were among the dead overnight on Monday after artillery fire hit their home in the area north of Kabul.

     
    Hashimi said a Nato reconstruction base in the province was attacked and that they "responded with artillery and an air strike, killing nine Afghan civilians".

     

    The interior ministry confirmed an incident in the Nijrab district involved "some casualties" but said it was searching for more details.

    The Nato base in Kapisa is staffed by US forces. William Mitchell, a spokesman for the US military, said officials were looking into the incident.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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