Recently, the province of Paktia has been the scene of heated clashes between foreign troops and insurgents. Yesterday, NATO close air support operations resulted in a reported three civilians dead. Initially, NATO denied involvement in the battle (see Associated Press here), later acknowledging the incident:
KABUL, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Three Afghan civilians were killed during a clash of NATO-led forces with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's southeastern province of Paktia, the alliance said on Sunday.
President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly warned Western forces in Afghanistan to avoid civilian casualties during operations as it would sap support for his government and would be risky for the presence of the troops there.
The clash broke out on Saturday after the Taliban made an abortive ambush on Afghan forces patrol in the area, NATO said in a statement, adding a number of militants were also killed. ...