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Afghans, NATO differ over civilian fatalities

Afghans, NATO differ over civilian fatalities

Oct 13, 2014 - 15:45

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Government officials on Monday said a NATOinfo-icon airstrike killed seven civilians in southeastern Paktia province, but ISAFinfo-icon rejected the allegation, saying those killed were militants.

Angry residents placed the dead bodies in front of the Governor’s House in protest on Monday as local officials promised them that a committee had been formed to investigate the incident.

Deputy Governor Abdul Wali Sahi told Pajhwok Afghan News the airstrike hit the seven men who were collecting wood in mountains on Saturday evening.

The dead were local residents, he said, blaming the deaths on a lack of coordination between Afghan and foreign forces. He said the incident was being investigated.

Local people brought the dead bodies and placed them in front of the Governor’s House to protest the killings. 

Haji Usman, one of the protestors, told Pajhwok Afghan News that foreign troops had killed innocent civilians and the government should bring the perpetrators to justice.

The victims were collecting wood to use them as fuel during winter when foreign troops targeted them from the air.

Soon after the air strike, the foreign troops cordoned off the area for several hours and did not allow people to evacuate the dead bodies.

ISAF confirmed the deaths in the air strike but denied if civilians had been killed. In a statement, the coalition said armed militants were killed in the airstrike.



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