KABUL: Afghanistan’s Nato force has launched an investigation into an attack by a drone aircraft on an Al Qaeda member which a senior Afghan official said killed eight women and children.
Civilian casualties have been a long-running source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his international backers. Karzai has forbidden Afghan troops from calling for foreign air strikes, though the ban is not always adhered to.
The attack took place on September 7 in the eastern province of Kunar. Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) initially said “10 enemy forces” had been killed and had no reports of any civilian casualties.
“When allegations arose of civilian fatalities as a result of this mission, ISAF initiated an investigation,” said force spokeswoman, Colonel Jane Crichton. “The air strike targeted insurgents riding in a truck. There were no signs of civilians in the vicinity.”
But Karzai condemned the attack from the outset. He called it an attack on women and children which was “against all internationally agreed principles”. Afghan security officials said Nato special operations forces had launched the drone to attack an Al Qaeda operative. Reuters
12 held over tanker attacks
QUETTA: Pakistani security officials said yesterday they had arrested 12 members of a gang involved in torching and destroying shipments for Nato troops in Afghanistan.
The paramilitary Frontier Corps carried out raids in the town of Hub, 700km southeast of Quetta, the capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan. Corps spokesman Abdul Wassey said the suspects also confessed to torching the Nato vehicles and killing or wounding their drivers.
“Cars used by these gangsters in the crimes were also recovered. They are being interrogated about similar gangs in Baluchistan.” Nine tankers carrying fuel were destroyed in Hub on their way to the Chaman border crossing to Afghanistan last week.