Afghanistan: US bombs civilians —again?

The US military and NATO force in Afghanistan (ISAF) say the July 17 raid against “high-priority Taliban targets” in Herat province led to the deaths of two key insurgent tribal leaders—identified as Haji Nazrullah Khan and Haji Dawlat Khan—and a significant number of their followers. The US/ISAF statements denied claims of local tribal elders that dozens of civilians were killed in the air-strike in the Zirko valley of Shindan district.

The issue of civilian casualties is highly sensitive, with the US-led coalition admitting that an air-strike in the western province of Farah on July 14 killed eight local residents. The US military is investigating reports by Afghan officials that over 60 civilians were killed in two separate air strikes by US-led forces this month in eastern Afghanistan. (ISAF press release, July 17; Radio Australia, BBC, July 18)

See our last posts on Afghanistan and civilian casualties.

  1. …and again
    From BBC, July 20:

    Coalition ‘bombs Afghan police’
    At least 13 Afghan police and civilians have died in two incidents involving international forces, officials say.

    Four Afghan police and five civilians died in an apparently mistaken air strike by international coalition forces in Farah province.

    Separately, the Nato-led Isaf said it had “accidentally” killed at least four civilians in Paktika province.

    The incidents are the latest in a series of controversial clashes involving foreign troops.

    They come as US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is in Afghanistan as part of an overseas tour.

    Mr Obama, who wants to increase US troop levels in Afghanistan, was due to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday.

    Mr Karzai has said no civilian casualty is acceptable…

    In Paktika province, Isaf said at least four and possibly as many as seven civilians had been killed when one of its units fired two mortar rounds which landed about 1km from their intended target.

    “ISAF deeply regrets this accident, and an investigation as to the exact circumstances of this tragic event is now underway,” it said in a statement.