Karzai says Nato air strike killed five civilians

Posted: October 24, 2013 in Current Affairs, World Affairs
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KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticised his Nato allies on Sunday over an air strike in the country’s east that he said killed five civilians, including three children.

The strike on Friday followed a mortar attack on a joint Nato-Afghan base near a village just outside Jalalabad city, Nato and local officials said.

“President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the Nato air strike in which he says five civilians, including three students aged 10, 14 and 16, were killed in eastern Nangarhar province on Friday night,” a statement from Karzai’s palace said.

The three students were brothers, the statement said.

Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) initially denied civilians had been involved in the attack, but later launched an investigation into the incident.

“Isaf takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and is working with our Afghan partners to confirm the details,” a Nato spokesman said on Saturday.

The strike comes less than a month after Nato was forced into a similar investigation when a drone strike targeting senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders hit a truck and killed as many as eight women and children.

Nato at first said they had killed ten “enemy forces”, but launched an investigation when images of dead civilians were shown to them.

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