6 killed in Khost operation
Thousands of people protested against the operation and carried the dead bodies to the offices of the governor and the provincial council.
The protestors chanted slogans against the US, President Karzai and Khost Wolesi Jirga MPs during the demonstrations, which ended at 10:30 am.
The joint operation was conducted by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan security personnel on Wednesday night in the Matun area on the outskirts of Khost city, a resident of the area, Bakhtawar Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Three students, two government employees including a teacher, and a shopkeeper were killed, and a man and woman injured in an operation against three houses.
Three were killed inside their houses and three others shot dead by the joint forces while irrigating their farms, he said.
The joint forces entered one house after blowing up its gate at around 12 am, then blindfolded the residents and tied their hands, said Aziz ur Rahman, a relative of the victims.
He said they took his three family members including two children to the roof of their house and shot them dead.
They had no links with militants, so he did not know why the troops killed his family members, he said.
Syed Musa Majrooh, a spokesman for the education department, confirmed that a teacher and students were killed in the operation, but he did not mention the exact number of the slain students.
But a statement from the International Joint Command media office denied accounts of civilian casualties, and said that an Afghan-led combined security force killed six Haqqani network fighters, including one armed female, during a security operation in Khost province on Wednesday.
The target of the operation was a Haqqani leader responsible for indirect fire attacks and the transfer of weapons and explosives throughout the area, according to the statement.
The fighters were killed when fired upon after they opened fire on security personnel during the operation, the statement said.
“One female civilian was injured during the incident. The security force provided immediate medical care on the scene and transported her to a medical facility for routine follow-up care,” the statement added.
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