ANA brigade blamed for civilian casualties in Ghazni
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): A number of residents on Tuesday accused the 3rd Afghan National Army (ANA) corps of causing civilian casualties during an ongoing offensive, a charge vehemently rejected by the Ministry of Defence.
Led by the ANA, the offensive -- codenamed Nasrat -- is underway in Andar and Deh Yak districts to purge the localities of anti-state elements. Tens of rebels and 70 civilians have reportedly suffered casualties.
Locals and tribal elders said the third brigade of 203rd Thunder Corps had hand in civilian casualties. Dozens of tribal elders from the two districts visited the governor’s house for the third time to register their complaints.
Haji Abdul Ahad, an elder from Andar district, said the anti-insurgent campaigns in the two districts had inflicted more casualties on civilians.
Locals did not need any more the brigade, he said, adding they were not against the operation but they were complaining about the unfair approach of Commander Ghulam Haider Nekpi.
Roohullah, another resident of Deh Yak district, alleged ANA soldiers intentionally targetted civilian houses in compliance with orders from Nekpi. The ANA was hitting positions where there were no militants, he claimed.
But acting Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada said the operations were planned and directed by the central government. He assured the elders their grievances would be conveyed to the central government.
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