Woman killed during night raid in eastern Afghan

Coalition forces and local Afghan officials were at odds after a night raid on a house in the east of the country left one woman dead.

Kabul: Coalition forces and local Afghan
officials were at odds on Saturday after a night raid on a house in
the east of the country left one woman dead.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) said the operation in the Gardez district of Paktia
province targeted a Haqqani leader who was responsible for
roadside bomb and gun attacks.

But the provincial governor`s office said the "arbitrary"
operation was launched on the house of the Paktia
counter-narcotics chief, who had been detained along with his
two sons, and demanded his release.

"The security force was fired upon by an individual
located inside a building of the compound. The force returned
fire and once the threat stopped, they called for all
individuals to exit the compound," ISAF said in a statement.

"During a search of the building, two females were found
inside of the room where the individual, who was later
captured, was positioned as he fired at the security force."
The women were evacuated for medical treatment but one
later died of a gunshot wound.

"In addition to the Haqqani leader, two suspected
insurgents were detained during the operation," ISAF said,
adding that two AK-47 assault rifles, a bolt action rifle,
ammunition and a grenade were recovered.

However, the Paktia governor`s office said it condemned
the raid, which left one woman dead and three others injured,
"in the strongest terms".

"At around one o`clock last night ISAF forces launched an
arbitrary operation on the house of the head of the Paktia
counter-narcotics department in Gardez city," the statement

"In this operation Dr Hafizullah, the director of the
counter-narcotics department, was detained along with his two
sons. One female member of the family was martyred and three
others were wounded."

There are around 1,40,000 international troops, mainly
from the United States, in Afghanistan helping government
forces combat the insurgency.

Commanders have put an increasing emphasis on "courageous
restraint" during operations to avoid the possibility of
inflicting civilian casualties.

According to the UN, the number of civilians killed in
violence in Afghanistan rose by 15 per cent in the first six
months of this year to 1,462, with insurgents blamed for 80
per cent of the killings.

President Hamid Karzai has led public criticism of night
raids for causing civilian casualties but ISAF has defended
the operations as a tactical success.