Nato attack kills Afghan civilians

Women and children are among the wounded as country prepares for Independence Day.

    Nato said the incident took place in the volatile province of Helmand [AFP]

    A patrol had picked up a radio message from the compound calling for fighters to converge on the area to attack the patrol, it said.

     

    "The patrol identified insurgents with weapons on the roof of the compound preparing to attack and in order to protect themselves launched three rockets, all of which hit the target.

      

    "Unbeknown to the patrol, the civilians were inside the compound at the time."

      

    Two of the wounded, both children, were in a serious condition and being treated at an Isaf medical facility, the statement said.

     

    The authorities are recording a spike in unrest. Previous civilian deaths have angered residents and prompted Hamid Karzai, the US-backed Afghan president, to call on foreign forces in his country to take greater care.

     

    Deep regret

      

    "Isaf deeply regrets the tragedy of this incident when women and children were killed and injured as a result of an imminent insurgent attack from a position where they [militants] would have known women and children were present," it said.

      

    The incident was under investigation.

      

    Most of the Isaf soldiers in Helmand, a stronghold of the Taliban, are from the UK, which is in charge of Nato forces in the province.

     

    Afghanistan is due to celebrate Independence Day on Monday, but with police launching a major security operation in Kabul, the capital, on Sunday, events are expected to remain low key.

     

    Afghanistan will mark 89 years since gaining independence from Britian.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.