Taliban-ISAF clash forces residents to flee homes
MAHMOOD RAQI (PAN): Residents of Alasai district got refuge in government buildings after being forced from homes by a firefight between Taliban fighters and NATO-led soldiers in central Kapisa province on Saturday, residents said.
The clash erupted soon after International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops conducted an operation in the area, where a coalition aircraft suffered a hard landing early in the morning.
"Coalition forces have recovered both crewmembers. The incident is currently under investigation," the multinational force said in a brief statement.
A local official said the helicopter crashed in the Dara Ashpi area of Alasai district early in the morning. US-led forces surrounded the site immediately after the incident, said the district chief, Mullah Mohammad.
Some shells landed in houses, forcing residents to flee their houses and seek shelter in schools, healthcare centres and other government buildings, a man from the Rah-i-Sang area, Mohammad Jafar, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
"Two of my neighbours were wounded as a result of the clash," he said. Foreign soldiers launched the operation after an airstrike in the area, he added.
"One of my friends died after being hit by a stray bullet," said another resident, Amanullah. Shells have landed in several houses, he claimed. Many could not come out of their houses due to the fighting.
The clash was ongoing until noon, said the district police chief, Mangarai Khan. Civilians might have suffered casualties because a number of shells landed in their houses, he added.
"According to our information, one civilian was killed and three others were wounded," said the district chief, Mullah Mohammad. A large number of families fled Alasai after coalition troops conducted an offensive in the district a week back.
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