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Takhar strike targeted armed group: Investigators

Takhar strike targeted armed group: Investigators

May 25, 2011 - 19:49

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Weapons with illegal armed groups caused last week's airstrike by NATOinfo-icon-led soldiers, which killed four including two womeninfo-icon, in the northern province of Takhar, investigators said on Wednesday.

On May 18, a combined Afghan and coalition security force killed four insurgents, including two armed females, during a security operation in Taloqan, the provincial capital. The raid was conducted in pursuit of an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator, the alliance.

A woman wearing a chest rack and armed with an AK-47 rifle attempted to engage the force, ISAFinfo-icon said. She was given numerous verbal warnings. She was killed after pointing her rifle at the troops.

The airstrike was followed by a two-day protest, which resulted in the killing of 12 people and injuries to 90 others.

On return to Kabul from Taloqan, a probe team said some "opportunists" instigated the protestors to violence. At least 14 policemen were among the injured.

The demo turned violent because of the opportunists' presence among the protestors, the delegation said. In a report submitted to President Karzai, the team called for a stop airstrikes by NATO-led forces.

Although the alliance soldiers said the target of the nighttime strike was insurgents, protestors insisted civilians had been killed in the operation.

About 200 people took part in the demonstration. Some angry protestors went on to attack the governor's office, as well as the German-led Provincial Reconstructioninfo-icon Team (PRTinfo-icon).

Claims of losses by victims of the violent protest and airstrike would be investigated, Karzai promised the delegation. The president would also speak to foreign soldiers to stop irresponsible operation, his office said.



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