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US-led coalition airstrike kills 76 Afghans


The Afghan Interior Ministry said on Friday that 76 civilians, including women but mostly children, were killed in a coalition airstrike in western Afghanistan. 'Today in the afternoon during a bombardment of coalition forces 76 people, including 19 women, seven men and the rest children, all under 15 years-of-age were martyred,' the interior ministry said in a statement...


[46607]



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US-led coalition airstrike kills 76 Afghans

DPA

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Police: US-led coalition airstrike kills 76 Afghans

Aug 22, 2008, 16:15 GMT

Kabul - The Afghan Interior Ministry said on Friday that 76 civilians, including women but mostly children, were killed in a coalition airstrike in western Afghanistan.

'Today in the afternoon during a bombardment of coalition forces 76 people, including 19 women, seven men and the rest children, all under 15 years-of-age were martyred,' the interior ministry said in a statement.

The ministry has sent a ten-member-delegate to the area to investigate the case, it said, adding that a number of civilians were also wounded with some of them in a critical condition.

US-led coalition forces earlier had said that they had killed 30 Taliban militants in a combat operation, backed by close air support in the district.

The US military said in a statement that the dead militants also included one of their commanders, Mullah Sadiq, killed in the Shindand district of western Herat province on Friday.

The militants according to the statement attacked the combined forces from inside houses as they were on their way to detain a Taliban commander.

Joint forces responded to their attack with small arms fire and called in aircraft to pound the insurgents' positions.

General Zahir Azimi, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman, confirmed the clash, but said that five of the 30 killed in the operation were civilians.

Civilian casualties during the international operations against the Taliban have become a matter of severe concern for the Western- backed Afghan government as it tries to win the hearts and minds of the people.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai earlier this month called on the international forces to shift their attention from fighting the terrorism in Afghan villages, where he said it caused nothing but civilian casualties, to bases of terrorism.

Afghan officials said that the Taliban have safe havens in tribal areas of Pakistan from where they cross the border and attack Afghan and coalition forces, a claim Islamabad denies.

In April 2007, more than 50 civilians were killed in the same district when coalition forces bombed suspected Taliban militants in the area, according to a United Nations investigation.





:: Article nr. 46607 sent on 22-aug-2008 20:25 ECT

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Link: www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1426301.php/Police_US-led
   _coalition_airstrike_kills_76_Afghans




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