Kabul: Provincial officials in northern
Afghanistan said a NATO helicopter opened fire on a convoy of
cars heading to an event hosted by the head of a local council
today, killing a police officer and the brother of a lawmaker.
Several officials in the province of Faryab, including
the chief of police, the governor and the head of the
provincial council, all said that the helicopter strafed one
car in the convoy, killing a policeman and Mohammad Aminuddin,
the brother of former parliament member Sarajuddin Mozafari.
Faryab police chief Khalil Andarabi said two policemen
and a civilian were also wounded in the strike.
NATO said it was looking into the incident but did not
have any immediate word of a helicopter strike in Faryab, but
did have a report of an insurgent roadside bombing targeting
police forces there.
The issue of civilians killed during operations is
particularly troubling for NATO and the Afghan government, and
the international coalition says it is careful to avoid such
casualties. Earlier this week, a clash between NATO forces and
insurgents left five civilians dead in Helmand, prompting
criticism from the provincial government.
The strike in Faryab occurred on the main road about 5
kilometers outside the provincial capital, Maimana, as a
convoy of cars headed to a lunch hosted by the head of a local
council, according to Faryab governor Abdul Haq Shafaq and the
other officials involved.
Shafaq, who had been among the guests, said he had
just driven by the area when he heard the helicopter firing
and turned back.