Foreign troops kill ex-senator’s relatives
MAIDAN WARDAK (PAN): International troops killed three family members of a former senator, Sami Jan Sherzad, and detained two others during a nighttime raid in the central province of Maidan Wardak, officials said on Sunday.
Noor Agha, a nephew of Sherzad, was killed along with two daughters, aged 18 and 20 years, during a raid on their house at midnight in the Momad village of Gardan Masjid Valley in Chak district, said a relative of the victims, Hayatullah Halim.
Air-dropped in the area, the NATOL-led troops stormed Agha’s house, he said, adding the man and his daughters, both primary schoolteachers, were killed in the operation.
“The troops opened fire from the rooftop of the house at sleeping people,” he said. When Noor came out of his room after his daughters were shot dead, the soldiers sprayed him with bullets.
The soldiers also took away Sherzad’s two nephews, who had no ties to militants, the relative alleged, saying Agha was also a high schoolteacher. Criticising the foreign troops, he said: "They don’t differentiate between militants and civilians, killing innocent Afghans."
Chak district chief Mohammad Ismail Wafa confirmed the death of three family members of Sherzad, without giving details.
However, the governor’s spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said US troops were fired upon from the house, and the soldiers returned fire. It was not clear who killed the three, he added.
A delegation, led by the Chak district chief, has been appointed to investigate the incident.
In a statement, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said: “A combined Afghan and coalition security force conducted a search in Chak-e Wardak district, Wardak province, yesterday for a Haqqani network leader responsible for attacks against Afghan government officials.”
It added: “At the onset of the operation, the security force called for individuals inside of the compound to exit peacefully. After refusing to exit the building, an individual was observed pointing a weapon through a window toward the security force. Assessing an immediate threat, the force fired at the armed individual. A second individual armed with a rifle appeared and the force fired a second time. Elsewhere at the location, the security force was threatened a third time by a suspected insurgent, and again returned fire killing him. Once inside the building, it was discovered that two of the three armed individuals were females. Following the operation, the security force met with village leaders to inform them about the events. Additionally, the force detained two suspected insurgents and confiscated three AK-47 assault rifles, ammunition pouches, and a grenade from the compound.”
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