US air strike kills Afghan children

Seven children dead in US strike on suspected al-Qaeda safehouse.

    Afghans have protested against
    civilian killings by foreign troops [AFP]

    Major Chris Belcher, a coalition spokesman, said: "We are saddened by the innocent lives that were lost as a result of militants' cowardice."
     
    Sgt. 1st Class Dean Welch, another coalition spokesman, said: "If we knew that there were children inside the building, there was no way that that airstrike would have occurred."
     
    The coalition also said it had killed "several dozen" Taliban fighters after their forces were attacked on two occasions in Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
     
    Two foreign soldiers were injured in Sunday's clashes, with coalition forces calling in air strikes in the Kandahar incident.  
     
    Street protests
     
    The children's deaths are the latest in a series of civilian deaths involving foreign troops.
     
    More than 120 civilians have been killed by foreign forces in Afghanistan in recent months, according to the Afghan government and residents.
     
    Earlier this month, Hamid Karzai, the president, described the killings as "unacceptable".
     
    The deaths have sparked street protests calling for Karzai's resignation and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
     
    The attack, which had the support of Afghan troops, occurred after a bomber blew himself up on a police academy bus in Kabul, killing at least 35 people, in the deadliest suicide attack in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001.
     
    Al-Qaeda is fighting alongside the Taliban to overthrow Afghanistan's Western-backed government and drive out foreign troops.
     
    Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 17 months. About 1,500 of them have been civilians.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?