Two NATO air-strikes in Afghanistan May 29 again killed civilian villagers, outraged residents ad local officials said. One strike on Nawzad in Helmand province, apparently launched in response to an attack by the Taliban on US Marine forces, killed 14. Officials said that all of the dead were women and children, and that of the six injured, only two were men, both unarmed civilians. President Hamid Karzai’s office issued a formal statement condemning the attack. The other strike took place in the Doab district of remote northeastern province of Nuristan, and killed 38 civilians, 20 of whom were part of the local police force, local officials said. The police officers were apparently engaged in ground fighting with the Taliban insurgents. Afghan TV showed images of the Nawzad casualties being taken into hospitals and bereaved relatives cradling the bodies of several young children wrapped in bloody sheets. A NATO spokesman said that an investigation was under way. (The Guardian, Gamut, May 29)
Also May 29, presumed Taliban militants in Afghan military uniforms carried out a suicide bombing that killed Mohammed Daud Daud, a top general who once led Afghanistan’s opium eradication efforts. (The National, UAE, May 30) These developments come amid unconfirmed reports that US diplomats have opened secret talks in Germany with one Tayyab Agha, said to be the direct representative of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, with an eye towards striking a peace deal. (RFE/RL, May 25)
See our last post on US atrocities in Afghanistan.