Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Collateral damage

Two incidents. One near Kabul:

MAIDAN WARDAK, June 2 (Reuters) - An air strike by NATO-led forces killed six Taliban fighters and two civilians in Maidan Wardak province, west of Kabul, a provincial spokesman said. (link)
Another near Herat:
Afghans Protest Against Civilian Deaths In Firefight

HERAT, June 1 (Reuters) - Dozens of people in northwestern Afghanistan have protested against civilian deaths, but local authorities say some elders in the area were to blame for helping a Taliban ambush.

Residents of Bala Murghab district of Badghis Province say six civilians, including women and children, were killed during firefight between Afghan and Taliban forces.

The deputy governor said only two civilians died, but added that local collusion with the insurgents made it hard for security forces to avoid innocent deaths during firefights...

Local residents say they are not colluding with the Taliban for ideological reasons, just trapped between two sides and trying to survive in a war zone.

"The government arrest and beat shopkeepers for selling groceries to the Taliban, but we are victimized by both sides," shopkeeper Haji Mohammad Shah told Reuters by phone... (link)

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