NATO air strike kills 33 Afghan civilians
Kabul: A NATO air strike killed at least 33 civilians, the Afghan government said on Monday, in the third such mistaken bombing raid in Afghanistan in a week and forcing another apology from a top US commander.
Four women and a child were among the civilians killed yesterday when they were attacked after being mistaken for Taliban militants who are waging an eight-year insurgency to evict Western troops.
The top ground commander, US General Stanley McChrystal, apologised for the incident to President Hamid Karzai, who has repeatedly warned foreign and Afghan forces to take all measures possible to avoid harming civilians.
The air strike came days after NATO forces pressing a major offensive in the south killed at least nine Afghan civilians when a rocket slammed into a house -- for which McChrystal also apologised.
A statement from the decision-making council of ministers, which is chaired by Karzai, condemned the latest incident as "unjustifiable".
"Initial reports indicate that NATO fired on Sunday on a convoy of three vehicles in Gujran district of the province of Daykundi, killing at least 33 civilians including four women and one child and injuring 12 others while they were on their way to Kandahar," the statement said.
Yesterday`s incident was the third mistaken NATO air strike in Afghanistan reported by Afghan officials in a week.
Last Thursday, a NATO bombing raid in the northern province of Kunduz killed seven Afghan policemen, according to hospital and government officials. On February 15, NATO acknowledged that five civilians were killed accidentally and two others wounded in an air strike in southern Afghanistan.
Karzai used Saturday`s opening session of Parliament to repeat his call for civilians to be protected as 15,000 Afghan, US and NATO troops press Operation Mushtarak (Together) in the southern province of Helmand into a second week.
The assault on the Marjah and Nad Ali areas in the heartland of southern Afghanistan`s poppy growing region is the first step of a wider campaign that will last 12-18 months, McChrystal and his boss US General David Petraeus say.
The operation is a showcase test of their counter-insurgency strategy which marries military and civilian efforts to drive out militants and reassert government control with security and civil services.
The operation is now in its ninth day, and though police have moved into the target area, NATO commanders say it could be another month before it is cleared of fighters and their booby trap bombs.
NATO today described resistance from Taliban fighters as "determined" in Marjah while "cautious optimism" was the order of the day in nearby Nad Ali, "as early signs indicate a return to normality".
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened