Karzai charges NATO with killing seven civilians

The strike was aimed at Taliban fighters planting roadside mines in the area but missed its target.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 22:39 PM IST

Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday
accused NATO-led international forces of killing seven
civilians, most of them children, in an air strike in the
southern province of Kandahar.

"Initial reports as stated by the district sub-governor
indicate that an air strike carried out by the international
forces in Siacha village in Zhari district killed seven
persons including six children and injured another two young
girls," a statement from the presidential palace said.

"President Karzai was saddened when he heard the news and
designated a team to fully investigate the incident."

The governor of Zhari district Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi,
contacted, said that the strike was aimed at Taliban
fighters planting roadside mines in the area but missed its
target and hit residential areas nearby.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security
Assistance Force in Kabul said he was aware of reports of
civilian casualties in Kandahar, adding that a joint
assessment team was going to the site.

Civilian deaths have strained relations for years between
NATO-led forces and the Afghan government.

PTI