Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More deaths, more denials (Updated)

Reuters reports on an incident in Afghanistan's Laghman province, which neighbors the capital of Kabul:

NATO Denies Civilians Killed In Afghan Attack

KABUL, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The NATO-led force has denied it had killed any civilians in an operation in eastern Afghanistan, but a provincial official said 12 people, probably civilians, had been killed in the attack...

The statement said the joint force came under "hostile fire from multiple positions and returned fire" in Armul village, in Mehtar Lam district.

"The joint force searched the compound without further incident and recovered multiple AK-47 rifles."

The spokesman for Laghman's governor, Sayed Ahmad Safi, said 12 people in four houses were killed during the operation.

"We have launched an investigation to find out how many of them were civilians and how many were Taliban," he said. "It looks like all of them may have been civilians, including women." (link)
Pajhwok Afghan News says locals reported 15 civilians dead, as does Iran's PressTV, who apparently have a reporter on the ground.

The Associated Press reports that Afghan security forces killed one protester on Tuesday (Dec 8) in the provincial capital as hundreds of demonstrators protested the airstrikes.

Update:
It seems that NATO is now coming (somewhat) clean:
NATO Says Civilians May Have Died In Afghan Raid

KABUL, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Civilians may have been among those killed in a NATO-led attack in eastern Afghanistan on December 8, the U.S. general in charge of the NATO force's day-to-day combat operations has said...

NATO said on December 8 that no civilians had died in its raid in Laghman Province... (link)

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