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KABUL: Nato said yesterday its forces had accidentally shot dead two Afghan boys, in the latest of a series of reports of civilian deaths at the hands of international troops.
The two boys were shot dead when they were mistaken for insurgents during an operation in northwest Uruzgan on February 28, ISAF commander, US General Joseph Dunford, said in a statement.
“I offer my personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed,” Dunford said.
“The boys were killed when Coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces,” he said, adding that a team of Afghan and ISAF investigators visited the village yesterday and met local leaders.
“They saw two young children who were apparently listening to a radio and they shot them — it is not yet clear why,” a spokesman for provincial governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada said.
Australian forces deployed in Uruzgan said earlier there had been an “operational incident” in the province’s northwest but gave no details except that no soldiers were harmed.
On February 13, a Nato air strike requested by Afghan forces killed 10 people — including five children and four women — in the eastern province of Kunar.