Monday, September 29, 2008

Police claim foreign troops kill 3 civilians (with update)

From the Associated Press:

Afghan police: 3 civilians die in coalition strike
By Rahim Faiez

KABUL, Sept 28 (AP) - An Afghan police official said Sunday that a U.S.-led coalition operation apparently targeting a suicide bomb cell in eastern Afghanistan killed three civilians...

Gen. Abdul Jalal Jalal, the provincial police chief in the eastern province of Kunar, said airstrikes hit a compound in the province's Asmar district, killing three civilians.

The U.S.-led coalition said its troops targeted an al-Qaida cell network responsible for a number of bomb attacks in Kunar province.

The coalition said two militants were killed after a fire-fight in one of the compounds. It said no civilians were killed. Capt. Scott Miller, a U.S. spokesman, said artillery strikes were used in the fight but no airstrikes.

It was impossible to independently verify either report, due to the remoteness of the area... (link)
AFP has more:
A police commander Sunday backed claims by villagers that two brothers and a teenage boy were killed as they prepared a pre-dawn meal in a home for the holy month of Ramadan.

"The coalition forces conducted an operation on a home where they were falsely told that Taliban were hiding. Three men were killed. Unfortunately they were all civilians," Asmar police chief Mohammad Ghaous told AFP.

A man claiming to be the brother of those killed said military helicopters launched several rockets on their mud brick home.

"I was preparing the food when they came. I told them to not fire. but ... they opened fire. Later I saw my brothers and our guest dead," Nasir Ahmad said.

An AFP reporter travelling to the area, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from provincial capital of Asadabad, saw holes created by rockets around the house.

The reporter saw the bullet-riddled bodies of three men whom several villagers also said were civilians.

"Two of them were brothers. One of them was a shopkeeper, the other one was a van driver and the third one was their relative who visiting them," Mohammad Salim, a villager told AFP. (link)

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