NATO troops kills five Afghan civilians by 'stray artillery'

Foreign troops in Afghanistan killed six civilians and wounded several others with what they say "stray artillery" fire.

NATO troops kills five Afghan civilians by 'stray artillery'

 

Foreign troops in Afghanistan killed six civilians and wounded several others with what they say "stray artillery" fire just a day after a NATO airstrike accidently killed five Afghan government soldiers.

US-led occupation has raised violence in Afghanistan, particularly civilian casualties, s angered residents and increased pressure on Hamid Karzai, the country's president.

The United Nations said that a record 2,118 civilians were killed during US occupation in Afghanistan in 2008.

A joint Afghan and NATO investigation team found the civilians died on Thursday when artillery fire "failed" to hit a target in the Jani Khel district of Paktia Province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

Complying with the new policy of the U.S. in Afghanistan, the troops have "apologies" when they killed civilians or Afghan soldiers.

"ISAF officials offer sincere condolences to those affected and accept full responsibility for the actions that led to this tragic incident," the statement, received late on Friday, said.

Civilian casualties and "friendly fire" deaths among Afghan security forces have been a frequent irritant between President Hamid Karzai and Western military forces during the nine-year war since 2001.

ISAF said commanders had held two days of meetings, or "shuras", with local elders in Jani Khel to discuss the incident.

Five Afghan government soldiers were "accidently" killed and two others wounded in a pre-dawn NATO helicopter airstrike on Wednesday, prompting condemnation from the country's government.

The attack took place after a aircraft mistook Afghan National Army soldiers for Taliban fighters during an operation in southwest Ghazni.

New U.S. and NATO forces commander General David Petraeus is considering a change to rules of engagement drawn up his predecessor to avoid civilian casualties, following complaints they tie the hands of coalition troops combating fighters.

Two coalition soldiers were killed on Friday in separate bomb attacks, the alliance said, while a suicide car bomb hit a NATO convoy on a bridge outside Jalalabad, killing one civilian and wounding nine others.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Temmuz 2010, 09:47
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