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Kandahar: Afghan officials said yesterday that a Nato air strike killed three children while it was targeting Taliban insurgents planting mines on a road in southern Afghanistan.
Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed an air strike in Helmand province’s Nawa district on Sunday, saying that three insurgents died and it was investigating reports that children were also killed.
“Two Taliban mine-planters were identified and targeted by ISAF from the air and killed,” district police chief Ahmad Shah Khan said.
“Three children, two boys and a girl, who were nearby collecting firewood were also killed,” Khan added.
Farid Ahmad Farhang, a spokesman for Helmand police, confirmed the incident and said the raid killed two insurgents and three children.
Civilian casualties caused in Nato operations against insurgents are a sensitive issue in relations between the US-led force and the government of President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai often reacts angrily, arguing that such incidents turn people against his administration amid an ongoing insurgency by Taliban Islamists trying to bring him down.
Thousands of civilians are killed in the war each year, with the United Nations saying the vast majority of such deaths are caused by insurgents.
kills six policemen
PESHAWAR: Militants armed with guns and rockets attacked a Pakistani police checkpost overnight, sparking gun battles that left six police officers dead, officials said yesterday.
The attack took place in the Mattani area on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, a gateway to the semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border where the Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants have strongholds.
“Dozens of militants attacked the checkpost, killing four policemen including senior official Khushid Khan and two paramilitary FC (Frontier Constabulary) men,” local police official Nasim Hayat said.
The militants set fire to the checkpost and three police vehicles, before fleeing, Hayat said.
Another police official, Sher Muhammad, who was wounded in the attack, confirmed the incident and casualties.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban frequently target security forces as part of a five-year insurgency concentrated in the northwest.