NATO attack killed family

NATO attack killed family

Kabul : Afghanistan | May 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM PDT
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Map of Afghanistan locating the air strike in eastern Paktia province

Eight members of an Afghan family, including six children, were killed in a NATO air attack launched yesterday in the province of Paktia (East), said Rohullah Samoon, local government spokesman.

"A man, his wife and six children were killed when their house was bombed in the Gard district Siray" said Samoon, indicating that it is not clear what the target of the attack.

"According to our initial information, the troops of the International Security Assistance [ISAF] in Afghanistan were attacked by a large number of insurgents in the province of Paktia," he said, meanwhile, Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the NATO forces. "The troops on the ground responded with fire, and requested and received air support," he added.

Crighton said it was a joint operation with Afghan army unit and there were no casualties among its forces. "At this time, ISAF officials are determining if there is a correlation between combat operation last night and the reporting of civilian casualties," he said.

"We try to avoid harm to Afghan civilians and civilian property in all our operations. And only use the air force if militants in the area," said Crighton.

Another senior official of NATO, who requested anonymity, said that NATO had "no evidence" that any civilian casualties in clashes with insurgents in Paktia registered.

The death of civilians by foreign troops has been a sticking point in the relationship of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and its international partners.

The president warned earlier this month that civilian casualties could undermine a strategic partnership with the U.S. that should govern the long-term relationships, after most of the international troops leave the country in late 2014. Karzai appointed a delegation to travel to the province of Paktia and determine what happened.

Moreover, at least three soldiers of the ISAF killed yesterday, bringing to seven the victims in the last 24 hours, according to NATO.

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Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks with a delegation member as he arrives at the NATO meeting on Afghanistan held during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai speaks with a delegation member as he arrives at the NATO meeting on Afghanistan held during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago
karasiwo is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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