Karzai orders probe into civilian deaths in Parwan
CHARIKAR (Pajhwok): President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday assigned a delegation to investigate reports that some civilians had suffered casualties during a joint Afghan-NATO operation against militants in central Parwan province.
Officials in Parwan said an hours-long clash that erupted during the yesterday’s operation in Seyah Gard district left 20 people, including half a dozen civilians, dead.
Deputy Parwan governor Shah Wali Shahid told Pajhwok Afghan News the clash that broke out on Tuesday continued until Wednesday noon.
The Presidential Palace said the civilian casualties occured as a result of a US airstrike. "One woman and seven children were martyred and one civilian injured,” a statement from the palace said.
“The Afghan government has been asking for a complete end to operations in Afghan villages for years, but American forces acting against all mutual agreements and guarantees… have once again bombarded a residential area and killed civilians.”
ISAF media office in Kabul said they were aware of reports that at least two civilians were inadvertently killed during an Afghan-led joint operation in Ghorband district of Parwan province, when an enemy force engaged the joint forces from several compounds.
The alliance said Afghan and coalition forces returned fire and required defensive air support to suppress the enemy fire. According to initial operational reports, ISAF said at least 10 insurgents were killed during the operation.
The enemy fire resulted in the death of one ISAF service member. “This deliberately-planned clearing operation was conducted to disrupt insurgent activities in the district, including attacks on Bagram Air Field, and in support of Afghan National Security Forces' tactical priorities”
Local district and provincial officials were informed in advance of the operation and were provided updates during and after the actions, the alliance said.
“ISAF regrets any civilian casualties and we are working with our Afghan partners to determine all the facts surrounding this incident."
The deputy governor said the clash took place in Wazghar area of Seyah Gard district, when American troops arrived with logistics for Afghan troops.
Local residents said the civilians killed included two women and as many children.
A tribal elder in the area, Amar Sattar, told Pajhwok Afghan News more than 15 militants had been killed during the clash.
The Office of Administrative Affairs at the Presidential Palace said President Karzai had assigned a delegation to investigate the incident.
In a statement, the office said the civilians suffered casualties during an airstrike by foreign troops on Wednesday around 6am.
It said President Karzai had appointed Wolesi Jirga member from Parwan, Abdul Sattar Khwasi, as head of the delegation and directed him to thorough investigate the incident and report back to the Presidential Palace.
Other members of the delegation are Brig. Gen. Anwar Shah Ibrahimi of the Administrative Affairs Office, Gen. Din Mohammad of the Ministry of Defence, Gen. Afzal Alnabi Haideri of the National Directorate of Security, Col. Attiqullah Shakib of the Ministry of Interior, Abdul Habib Jabbarkhel of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance and Siddiqullah of the Attorney General Office.
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