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Civilians, police perish in Nuristan raid

Civilians, police perish in Nuristan raid

May 28, 2011 - 17:37

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): A NATOinfo-icon-led ISAFinfo-icon airstrike killed many civilians in addition to 35 policemen in Doab district of the eastern province of Nuristan, injured witnesses said on Saturday.

The airstrike was an attempt to support the international soldiers to take over Doab district from Talibaninfo-icon on Wednesday night.

Sixty-eight rebels and 17 policemen were killed in the airstrike by NATO-led international soldiers, Governor Jamaluddin Badr said on Friday.

The district's administrative head, Fida Mohammad, and police chief, Allah Dad, were also wounded in the raid, he added.

NATO confirmed conducting several airstrikes to support the combined Afghan-ISAF operation in Doab district on Wednesday. Numerous insurgents were also killed, it added.

"We have no reports of any civilians being injured during the strikes,” ISAF said in a statement, which rejected claims of Afghan policemen being killed and the district chief wounded.  There had been no strike in that area since Thursday morning, it added.

"The NATO soldiers bombed a mobile tower of Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), where the district and police chiefs along with other policemen were wounded," a guard of the district chief, Rahim Dad, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

At least 35 policemen, who got refuge underneath a tree, were killed as a result of continuous bombing by foreign soldiers, he said. “No one could take the victims for healthinfo-icon facilities”, he added.

"At first we were happy thinking that the ISAF soldiers would help us, but later they bombed our checkpoint," Sultan Mohammad, a commander of Pamir Police checkpoint in the district, said. Sultan was brought to the hospital in Laghman, due to his injuries.

Two of his officers were killed and nine others wounded as a result of the bombing, he said. "I saw 32 people being killed and wounded in the airstrike, but there were no one to help them or to take them to hospital," he said.

"The ISAF aircrafts started bombing when they came under attack," said Gul Mohammad Zahid , secretary of provincial council, who brought the wounded people to hospital. He added that all six family members of Sayed Jamal, a local resident were killed as a result of the airstrike.

Seven out of the 40 people, who came from Ali Shang district of Laghman to help the district police chief, Allah Dad, were also wounded in the NATO-led airstrike, he said. 

Ministry of Interior spokesman Zmaray Bashari said that since Doab is a remote district, local officials could not be contacted; therefore, the ministry had no information about the exact number of fatalities.

A team has been sent to the area to figure out exact information about the civilian casualties.



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