US-led coalition forces and Afghan troops killed five suspected members of a “terrorist network” in a raid in northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province March 22, the coalition said. But the mayor of Imam Sahib district, Abdul Manan, said it was his house that was raided and those killed were not militants.
Manan said the raid killed two of his guards, a cook, a driver and another man. He said the forces arrived in helicopters, blew open the compound gates and killed the men inside the compound. He said he was inside one of the rooms with his wife and children. The coalition statement said no women or children were present in the targeted compound. Some 300 people gathered in Imam Sahib to protest after the raid. (Canberra Times, March 23)
On March 21, a suicide car bomb explosion targeting a police checkpoint killed five civilians and a police officer at Chaparhar in the eastern Nangarhar province. Six others were also injured in the blast which occurred on the first day of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. (Press TV, March 21)
The US State Department has refuted claims in the British Guardian newspaper that the US and its coalition partners intend to appoint someone to a newly created executive post in Afghanistan to oversee President Hamid Karzai, who is perceived as too soft on the insurgency. The Guradian, citing unnamed officials, said the new post would be part of the Obama administration’s new Afghanistan plan to be released in the coming days. (Turkish Weekly, March 24; The Guardian, March 22)