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Residents, NATO differ over six killed in Khost

Residents, NATO differ over six killed in Khost

Jul 14, 2011 - 17:56

KABULinfo-icon/KHOST CITY (PANinfo-icon): Residents, local officials and NATOinfo-icon on Thursday differed over six people killed during a security operation in southeastern Khost province.

Residents and local officials said the dead and wounded were local civilians, including womeninfo-icon and children. The Afghan forces led operation was carried out in Matun area. Residents of the village said the joint force raided three houses during the night time offensive, killing six civilians.

Hundreds of people brought the dead bodies in front of the provincial council office in protest.  The protestors chanted slogans against the US, President Karzai and lawmakers from the province. The demonstration dispersed peacefully after half an hour.

The educationinfo-icon department spokesman, Syed Musa Majroh, said the dead included students. However, he did not provide any specific figure.

A relative of the victims, Azizul Rahman, said the joined forces stormed their house at midnight after blowing up the house's gate. The forces blind folded his family members, including one man and two children. The victims were taken to the house's rooftop and then shot dead, Rahman claimed.

The governor's spokesman, Mubariz Zadran, also said the dead were local civilians. The casualties were a result of misinformation, he said.

But NATO said the joint force was attacked by several armed insurgents while attempting to clear a compound near a coalition base in the Khost district. Multiple insurgents, armed with AK-47 rifles and pistols, fired at the security force.  Three attackers were killed when the force returned fire, it added.

Another insurgent was killed after he attempted to engage the force with his AK-47.  Almost immediately after, a female insurgent, armed with a pistol, fired on the security force.  She was killed when the force returned fire.

The target of the operation was a Haqqani leader responsible for indirect fire attacks against the Afghan National Army and the transfer of weapons and explosives throughout the district, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) said.

An additional insurgent was also killed during the engagement, taking the number of dead insurgents to six.

One female civilian received non-life threatening injuries during the incident, the statement. She was provided immediate medical care on the scene and was transported to a medical facility for routine follow-up care.

The Haqqani female fighter is one of several females who have attacked Afghan and coalition forces within recent months. There have been multiple instances of armed females attacking security forces and insurgent groups using females as suicide bombers, ISAF said.


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