No air raids on civilian homes, vows ISAF
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander Gen. John Allen said he had directed coalition forces not to carry out airstrikes in populated areas.
“This measure is a further step in our efforts to protect the lives of Afghan civilians. Other conventional methods will be deployed against the insurgents, in coordination with Afghan National Security Forces," he said.
A statement from the multinational force quoted Gen. Allen as saying: “As always, Afghan and coalition forces retain the inherent right to use aerial munitions in self-defence if no other options are available.”
NATO’s announcement comes weeks after an air raid on a house killed 18 civilians in central Logar province, fuelling anger among residents and senior government officials.
An infuriated President Hamid Karzai harshly condemned the act and asked ISAF to stop striking houses under any circumstances.
It was the second attack on a civilian home in less than a month, killing mostly innocent women and children. Civilian casualties are on the rise and the United Nations revealed that 3,021 people were killed last year alone.
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