Civilians killed in Kunar airstrikes
ASADABAD (PAN): Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded in airstrikes by foreign forces in Ghaziabad district of eastern Kunar province, residents said on Saturday, a day after NATO said 30 militants were eliminated in a coalition raid.
Foreign troops have been pounding different areas of the district over the past three days, killing up to 52 civilians, Mohammad Ibrahim, who brought his wounded relative to the Asadabad Civil Hospital, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
A resident of the Dara Gal village, Ibrahim claimed that several others were injured in the air raids. Most of the injured could not be taken to hospital due to road blockades. He warned the seriously injured individuals could die if they were not provided immediate medical treatment.
In a statement on Saturday, NATO said its regional command was working closely with the provincial governor and Afghan security forces to investigate the claim.
On Friday, ISAF media office in Kabul said: "A coalition forces air weapons team engaged a large number of armed men in Ghaziabad district, killing more than 30 insurgents."
On an aerial security patrol, the air weapons team identified armed fighters in the area and engaged them. A large number of armed individuals emerged from a nearby building after the initial firing. Subsequently, they were targeted and killed, it has said.
Another resident of Ghaziabad, Hayatullah who reached Asadabad on Saturday morning, said many families had fled the district due to continued airstrikes. Most of the dead and wounded were civilians, he alleged.
NATO-led troops had been carrying out airstrikes in Ghaziabad over the past four days, said the provincial council chief, Mian Hassan Adil. Civilians bore the brunt of casualties, he claimed.
The Taliban acknowledged the loss of only one fighter and injuries to two others. Their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed eight US soldiers were killed in an ambush in the Dara Gal area of the district.
But ISAF rejected the claim, saying the force servicemembers had no casualty in the operation.
Police chief, Brig. Gen. Khalilullah Ziayee, said that they had sent a delegation to the area to investigate the allegations of civilian casualties.
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