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Afghanistan: NATO strike kills 6 of a family in Kunar


January 16, 2011 - NATO-led soldiers killed six members of a family during an airstrike in eastern Kunar province, a provincial council member alleged on Sunday. But the alliance rejected the allegation as baseless. The overnight bombardment took place in the Kodi area of Asmar district, bordering Pakistan, Haji Sultan Siddiqui told Pajhwok Afghan News. The victims included three children, two youths and an old man, he said, accusing foreign soldiers of disregarding civilian safety during operations...


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Afghanistan: NATO strike kills 6 of a family in Kunar

by Wali Salarzai & Mueed Hashmi

January 16, 2011

ASADABAD (PAN): NATO-led soldiers killed six members of a family during an airstrike in eastern Kunar province, a provincial council member alleged on Sunday. But the alliance rejected the allegation as baseless.

The overnight bombardment took place in the Kodi area of Asmar district, bordering Pakistan, Haji Sultan Siddiqui told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The victims included three children, two youths and an old man, he said, accusing foreign soldiers of disregarding civilian safety during operations.

Kunar police chief, Brig. Gen. Khalilullah Ziayee, confirmed the bombing. However, he had no information how many people were killed in the strike.

On the other hand, ISAF said militants were killed in Dangam area of the province. An air weapons team declared an imminent threat when it spotted armed insurgents moving in a historical fighting location, the force added.

"After establishing positive identification, the air weapons team engaged the enemy position, killing numerous insurgents and dispersing the others," the ISAF Public Affairs Office in Kabul said in a statement.

A Taliban mouthpiece, Zabihullah Mujahid, said four fighters and some foreign soldiers were killed during a clash in the district. He did not comment on civilian casualties.

In the neighbouring Nangarhar, 60 tribal elders visited to the provincial council office to lodge a protest against the arrest of two civilians by ISAF soldiers in the Najmul Jihad Family area on the outskirts Jalalabad.

The protesting elders spent a night in the provincial council, saying they would not return home as long as the civilians were kept in detention.

ISAF soldiers arrested Haji Muhammad Omar and Muhammad Akram three weeks back, said Haji Osman Ghani, one of the protestors. Both the detainees were ordinary people, said another tribal elder, Sayed Wali.

He asked the government not to let foreigners conduct irresponsible operations against civilians. He alleged the NATO-led troops had snatched mobile phones and 70,000 Pakistani rupees from the detainees.

They had been discussing the issue with foreign soldiers for the last three weeks, said the provincial council head, Nasratullah Arsala. The two had been arrested on suspicion of preparing suicide attackers, he added.

The governor's spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, also said they had been working for the release of the tribal elders.

But the ISAF media centre in the eastern zone rejected the tribal elders' claim.

frm/mud






:: Article nr. 73969 sent on 16-jan-2011 19:52 ECT

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