At least eight members of an Afghan family have been killed, including six children, after an airstrike by the US-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan. The missiles hit late Saturday night in the eastern province of Paktia, according to officials.
Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia province, said Mohammad Shafi, his wife and their six children died in an airstrike around 8 p.m. in Suri Khail village of Gurda Saria district.
“Shafi was not a Taliban. He was not in any opposition group against the government. He was a villager,” Samon said. “Right now, we are working on this case to find out the ages of their children and how many of them are boys and girls.”
* * *
Afghan authorities say that at least eight members of a family have been killed after an airstrike by the US-led NATO coalition in the eastern province of Paktia.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition said it was aware of the allegation and was investigating the incident, which happened late on Saturday night.
Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the Paktia provincial government, said on Sunday that a man, a woman and their six children were killed in a coalition airstrike at 8pm local time (15:00 GMT) in Suri Khail village of Gurda Saria district.
"This man had no connection to the Taliban or any other terrorist group," Samon told the AFP news agency, naming the man as Mohammad Shafi.
"Shafi was not a Taliban. He was not in any opposition group against the government. He was a villager," Samon said. "Right now, we are working on this case to find out the ages of their children and how many of them are boys and girls."
* * *
The Los Angeles Times adds:
Any NATO airstrike that leads to civilian deaths erodes the Afghan people's trust in foreign forces.
“If the lives of Afghan people are not safe, the signing of the strategic partnership has no meaning,” Karzai's office said earlier this month.
Karzai's warning came after Afghan officials reported that 18 civilians had died recently in four airstrikes in Logar, Kapisa, Badghis and Helmand provinces.
Last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed as insurgents ratcheted up violence with suicide attacks and roadside bombs, the United Nations said in its latest report on civilian deaths. The U.N. attributed 77 percent of the deaths to insurgent attacks and 14 percent to actions by international and Afghan troops. Nine percent of cases were classified as having an unknown cause.
# # #