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Nato strike kills 85 Afghan civilians

dpa | October 26 2006

Airstrikes and artillery fire by Nato-led International Security Assistance Force killed at least at least 85 civilians and around 48 Taliban insurgents in volatile southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Thursday.

Over 85 civilians including women and children were killed in Zang Abad village of Panjwayi district, 20 kilometres west of Kandahar Province Tuesday evening, said Bismillah Afghanmal, a member of Kandahar provincial council.

Khalid Pashtoon, a representative from Kandahar province to the lower house of Afghan parliament, condemned the Nat action "even if Taliban leader Mullah Omar was in that village."

Nato claims to have killed some 48 Taliban insurgents, and confirmed only injury of four civilians in these incidents operations.

ISAF forces were engaged in heavy fighting with large group of Taliban on Tuesday in three separate incidents, starting with an attack on Afghan army and ISAF forces in Panjwayi district.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appointed and sent a delegation headed by a former influential Jihadi commander to investigate the damage caused by the Nato attacks in the area.

Karzai also spoke to a 75-year-old man from the Zang Abad village in Kandahar who lost family members in the incident, according to statement release by the press office of the president.

In the past US-backed president Karzai has urged foreign troops to use more caution in order to avoid civilian casualties.

Nato strikes killed nine civilians in Zhari district of Kandahar province last week.

Ezmary Bashari, spokesman to Afghan Interior Ministry, said primary reports of Afghan police from Kandahar province shows that a total of 60 people were killed in the strikes, with more than 20 of the victims civilians.

In a separate incident unidentified gunmen killed Sayed Noor Mohammad Agha, a member of Faryab provincial council in western Afghanistan, as he was on his way back from the home of an acquaintance.



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