Afghan government probe confirms NATO killed 65 in Kunar.
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Afghan government probe confirms NATO killed 65 in Kunar.

Kabul : Afghanistan | Feb 26, 2011 at 9:42 AM PST
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Afghans: US-Led Attacks Killing Scores Of Civilians

The Afghan govenrment quickly made a followup investigation that it claims confirms that a recent NATO offensive in Kunar province killed 65 civilians. Among those killed 50 of them were either women or children.

The investigation's report is more or less in line with the provincial government report that claimed 64 civillians had been killed. However NATO has claimed their own investigation shows no civilians at all were killed or wounded. NATO has always been reluctant to admit to civilian casualties and even when they do they are usually far lower than Afghan estimates.

Laterly there have been a number of incidents of civiliana casualties one of which NATO admitted but claimed it was an accident. Relations between the Afghan govt and people and the U.S. forces have been strained not just by these events but by statements by some commanders.

Top U.S. commanders had suggested that local parents were burning their children and blaming NATO. In an attempt to change the claim some suggested that local parents burn their children to punish them. There have been reports by some organisations that in a few instances this may happen but it was certainly stupid and downright insulting to suggest this as explaining what was observed. It does nothing to explain deaths either!

So NATO has tried a new explanation. They now say that all of the villagers in the region are pro-Taliban and made up the story of civilian deaths as propaganda. This suggests that the government investigation and local authorities have not verified or confirmed any of what they claim. This is not likely to sit well with officials nor lead them to support NATO operations.

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Wounded child in Kunar
A wounded Afghan child receives treatment at a hospital in Kunar province on February 21. A recent NATO air strike in an eastern Afghanistan valley killed at least 62 civilians including women and children, an Afghan government investigation said Thursday. NATO says this is all Taliban propaganda.
northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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