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Karzai orders probe into Khost civilian deaths

Karzai orders probe into Khost civilian deaths

Jul 15, 2011 - 16:05

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation into a joint security operation that allegedly resulted in the deaths of six civilians in southeastern Khost province on Wednesday.

ISAFinfo-icon said it has initiated a joint incident assessment team to assess the incident.

The President's Spokesman Office said on Friday that the Afghan and foreign troops launched the operation in the Tora Wori area of Khost district on Wednesday evening. Six civilians were killed and two others were wounded in the offensive, the statement said.

President Karzai directed the Khost governor, Abdul Jabbar Naeemi, and other officials concerned to conduct an investigation into the deaths.

The governor had been directed to present a report to the Presidential Palace in this regard, the statement said.

ISAF said the incident occurred as the combined force approached the targeted building in Khost district and was engaged with small arms fire.

"Coalition forces take every allegation of civilian casualties seriously and will conduct a complete assessment of the engagement," the force said in a statement.

On Thursday, provincial council members closed the council's office in protest against the deaths.

Six civilians, including womeninfo-icon and children, were killed in the Afghan forces led operation.

However, NATOinfo-icon said that six Haqqani networkinfo-icon fighters, including a female, were killed and a second woman injured during the offensive.

The joint force was attacked by several armed insurgents while attempting to clear a compound near a coalition base in the Khost district, the alliance said in a statement.

Khost provincial council chief Murad Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News that the victims were civilians.

He said they would continue to protest until the incident was thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators punished.

Thousands of residents of the area brought the dead bodies to Khost city and placed them in front of the provincial council office on Thursday morning.


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