Karzai orders probe into civilian deaths
JALALABAD (PAN): President Hamid Karzai has appointed a commission to investigate civilian killings during a joint operation in the Wanth Waigal district of eastern Nuristan province, officials said on Thursday.
Members of the Nuristan Provincial Council, Meshrano Jirga and Wolesi Jirga said at a press conference a day earlier that Afghan and foreign forces had killed 19 civilians, including women and children, during the operation on Sept. 20.
For two days, foreign forces did not allow locals to collect the dead bodies that were eaten by animals, they claimed, saying provincial authorities were not taken into confidence over the offensive.
Some tribal elders and locals were also detained by the forces and tied up for two days, without even giving them water and food, they alleged.
Legislator Mowahid said a hospital and several shops in the remote district had also come under attack.
President Karzai established a commission comprising representatives from the Nuristan Provincial Council, Meshrano Jirga, Wolesi Jirga, Ministries of Defence and Interior, National Directorate of Security (NDS), Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), Office of Administrate Affairs and Council of Ministers, Enayatullah Mazhabyar, the Nuristan provincial council chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The panel was due to visit Paroon, the provincial capital, later on Thursday, Mazhabyar said, asking the team to go to Wanth Waigal to meet locals and collect first-hand accounts.
Confirming the appointment of the commission, Governor Tamim Nuristani lashed out at Afghan and foreign forces for not coordinating the operation with provincial authorities.
The 201st Selab Military Corps spokesman, Col. Noman Hatafi, had said 40 militants were killed, insisting there were no civilian causalities caused by the offensive. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) press office in Kabul says it did not participate in the operation.
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