3 children burnt to death in Greshk clash
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A fire erupted inside a home during a clash between police and Taliban militants in the Greshk town of southern Helmand province, burning to death three children, an official said on Thursday.
Nine militants were killed during the firefight that took place on Wednesday night in the Nahr Saraj area, deputy provincial police chief Col. Pacha Gul Bakhtiar told reporters.
He said a fire broke out in a house near the clash site, killing three children. However, he did not explain how the fire erupted.
The police official said the insurgents had tasked some individuals to blame the police for the fire incident.
“We had nothing to do with the children. Nine insurgents were killed and five others wounded and some explosives and ammunitions were confiscated,” said Pacha Gul.
He insisted police had never been involved in causing casualties to civilians but the Taliban killed innocent civilians to reach their targets.
A resident of the area, Haji Jami, who visited the police headquarters in Lashkargah to possess custody of two slain rebels, said the three children were hiding in a pile of wood inside a room in their house. However, the cause of the fire remained unknown, he said.
The children’s charred bodies were brought and placed in front of the Governor’s House by an angry mob, asking the government to prevent such incidents.
One of the protestors, Syed Mohammad, told reporters he could not blame any party for the fire incident, but their demand was peace and security in their area.
He said a prayer leader, a villager and three children had been killed during the clash between police and rebels.
A youth, Lalai, told Pajhwok Afghan News that his elder brother, his son and a daughter both aged below eight years were burnt to death and the spouse of his brother sustained burn injuries in the fire.
He said the frequent clashes between security forces and insurgents had created numerous problems for local residents.
There has been no word from the Taliban about the overnight clash.
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