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Coalition troops apologise for civilian deaths

Coalition troops apologise for civilian deaths

Jul 26, 2011 - 19:56

KHOST CITY (PANinfo-icon): NATOinfo-icon-led coalition troops based in southeastern Khost province on Tuesday apologised for an operation that resulted in the death of civilians.

Six civilians, including two government officials, two students, a teacher and a shopkeeper, were killed during the operation on July 13 in Tora Wori area near Khost City, the provincial capital.

At that time, foreign troops said the dead included key figures of the Haqqani terror network. An ISAFinfo-icon statement said a woman armed with a gun was also shot dead.

On Tuesday, coalition troops expressed regrets over the civilian casualties at a gathering attended by the governor, provincial council members, tribal elders, religious scholars and the victims' kin.

The coalition commander for Khost and Paktia, Gen. Toner, acknowledged those killed and wounded in the offensive were local residents.

"On behalf of coalition forces, I apologise to the victims' family and strongly condemn this incident," the general said. The commander also gave away six sheep to the family in compensation.

Governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi, condemning the incident, said a commission had been created to investigate the deaths. The body found that the dead and wounded were local civilians, he said.

Naeemi said such operations widened the gap between the government and people and created hatred against foreign troops. The governor called on NATO-led soldiers to avoid such mistakes in the future.

A relative of the victims, Jan Mohammad, said he had forgiven the troops. However, he said such incidents should not happen again.


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