US air strike kills 12 Afghan workers: governor

US-led coalition war planes killed 12 Afghan road workers in an air strike in northwestern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said Wednesday.

US air strike kills 12 Afghan workers: governor
Another official said up to 25 of the men were killed in the bombing late Tuesday in an area of the rugged Nuristan province about 180 kilometres (112 miles) northeast of Kabul.

"There was an airstrike by coalition forces but later we found out that 12 people, all local road workers, were killed. The road workers were in a tent which was hit by one bomb. All died," Nuristan governor Tamimi Nuristani said.

The US-led coalition media office said it was trying to find out what happened. "Something happened but we are not sure exactly what," spokesman Major Chris Belcher said.

The province's police chief said he was trying to verify the incident.

Nuristani said the men were from an Afghan construction company that was building a road in the remote area.

The head of the Nuristan provincial council, Taj Mohammad, said 25 people were killed in the strikes and they were all civilian road workers.

"We collected their flesh and put it in bags. We handed the remains of the ones we could recognise to their families," he said.

Nuristan is an isolated mountain province on the border with Pakistan that has seen occasional fighting between security forces and the Taliban.

Several hundred civilians are believed to have been killed by international soldiers this year, but no official figure has been released.

They are often difficult to verify, with officials releasing conflicting statements and because they occur in areas that are difficult to access.

Critics blame the military's reliance on air power in remote areas and also accuse soldiers of a disproportionate use of force.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2007, 09:51
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