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ISAF: cause of 3 civilian deaths unclear (UPDATED)

ISAF: cause of 3 civilian deaths unclear (UPDATED)

Jul 25, 2011 - 12:05

GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) says it is investigating how three civilians, including a female doctor, were discovered killed following a clash between insurgents and international troops.

The doctor’s husband was also injured in the incident, according to hospital officials.

On Sunday, President Hamid Karzai denounced the incident and expressed condolences to the victims' family, wishing the doctor's husband a speedy recovery. He called on the National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) to investigate.

On Thursday, an international patrol struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Syedabad district of Wardak province, the coalition told Pajhwok Monday. ISAF said one civilian was killed and several coalition members injured in the explosion.

Shortly afterward, the coalition said, ISAF came under small arms fire from insurgents and returned fire.

After the engagement, ISAF forces discovered one injured and three dead civilians, according to the statement. International troops gave the injured civilian first aid.

ISAF said it was not clear how the three civilians discovered after the firefight were killed and injured. ISAF has sent a team to the area to investigate, and will cooperate with the Afghan government's investigation, according to the statement.

Dr. Ismayee Ibrahimzai, the director of the Ghazni Civil Hospital, said Saturday that ISAF had killed a female doctor and two members of her family.

Ibrahimzai told Pajhwok Afghan News that Dr. Aqila Hekmat, who ran the hospital’s maternity ward, was killed along with her nephew and 18-year-old son Thursday when ISAF soldiers fired on their vehicle.

The doctor's husband was injured in the shooting, which took place near the Sheikhabad area of Syedabad on the Kabulinfo-icon-Kandahar highway, Ibrahimzai said, adding that the incident occurred after an ISAF convoy struck a roadside bomb.

He said the Public Healthinfo-icon Directorate staff and Ghazni-based doctors, saddened by Hekmat’s death, had urged an investigation into the incident.

Col. Zarawar Zahid, Ghazni police chief, denounced the incident, saying police would jointly investigate the murder with Maidan Wardak officials.

Shahidullah Shahid, the governor’s spokesman, also condemned the killing of Dr. Hekmat and her relatives. He quoted unnamed ISAF officials as saying that they came under fire from the Talibaninfo-icon after their vehicle struck the roadside bomb.


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