Karzai seeks NATO report on night raid deaths

Afghanistan`s president said he was asking for an explanation of why three members of the family of a former Afghan senator were killed by NATO.

Kabul: Afghanistan`s president on Tuesday said he
was asking NATO to provide an explanation of why three members
of the family of a former Afghan senator were killed in an
operation by international forces. NATO said two of the dead
were women.
Hamid Karzai`s office said two other members of Sameh Jan
Sherzad`s family were also detained in the operation in the
pre-dawn hours yesterday in eastern Wardak province`s Chaki
Wardak district. The statement said NATO must say what
actionable intelligence it had that led to the raid on the
former lawmaker`s family.

The US-led coalition has grappled with fallout from other
such raids in the past, but insists such operations are
necessary to cement security gains in the war-ravaged nation
and to target key insurgents.

NATO said it was aware of the statement from Karzai`s
office and would "cooperate fully" with the government to
"assess the incident."

The coalition said the incident occurred when a combined
Afghan and NATO force was searching the area for a Haqqani
network leader responsible for attacks on Afghan officials.
The group is a Taliban and al-Qaida-linked movement that
operates out of Pakistan.

The troops approached a compound where the suspected
insurgents were believed to be and called for them to exit
peacefully. Instead, someone aimed a rifle at the joint force
from a window, the coalition said in an e-mailed statement.

The troops opened fire, killing the individual. Two
others who appeared with weapons were shot dead, the statement

NATO said that once the troops entered the building, they
discovered that two of the three armed individuals who were
killed were women. Two other suspected insurgents were
detained, and three assault rifles, other weapons and
bomb-making materials were seized.

The statement from Karzai`s office did not provide a
breakdown of who was killed or detained. But Karzai has
repeatedly blasted the US-led coalition for the so-called
night raids, saying they often take place without coordination
with Afghan officials and result in civilian casualties. NATO
says these night raids always involve Afghan security forces.

Such raids are also a strain on Karzai`s government, as
Afghans complain that the coalition operates with impunity in
their fight against the Taliban and affiliated insurgents.

The announcement of the deaths came on the day a suicide
bomber on foot struck the convoy of a northern Afghanistan
provincial intelligence chief, killing a boy and wounding the
official, the region`s deputy governor said.


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