Ten civilians killed in military operations


Ten civilians, mostly school children, have been killed during Western military operations in eastern Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai’s office said Monday, citing ‘initial reports’.
Karzai condemned the killings, which his statement said took place in Kunar province, on Saturday.
“Initial reports indicate that in a series of operations by international forces in Kunar province 10 civilians, eight of them school students, have been killed,” the statement said.
“President Karzai strongly condemns the operation which caused civilian deaths and has appointed a delegation to investigate the incident,” it said.
A senior official in the Afghan government, speaking on condition anonymity, said the death toll could change because investigations are ongoing.
When contacted Sunday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had no information on any operations or casualties in Kunar.
A senior Western military official told AFP that US Special Forces have been conducting operations against militants in the border regions of Kunar.
“They have been killing a lot of Taliban and capturing a lot of Taliban,” he said, speaking on condition that he not be named.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2009

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