Nato was accused of killing eight women Sunday, in an attack that the US-led ISAF initially said was an air strike that targeted about 45 insurgents, but for which it later expressed its sincerest condolences over ‘possible ISAF-caused civilian casualties’ numbering five to eight.
Civilian casualties have strained relations between the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In June, ISAF ordered an end to air strikes on homes, except as a last resort.
Sunday’s attack came shortly before dawn, in Alingar district of Laghman province, east of Kabul, as women set off to collect firewood, said a local official. “In this raid, eight women are killed and another eight women are wounded,” provincial spokesman Sarhadi Zwak told AFP.
Tribesmen carried bodies to the provincial capital Mihtarlam, shouting ‘death to America, death to the Jews’ outside the governor’s office, an AFP reporter said. Karzai expressed sadness and condemned the killing of the women. Seven other women were wounded and a delegation had been ordered to travel to the remote area to investigate, his office said.
Four Nato soldiers were shot dead Sunday in the second such attack by suspected Afghan police in 24 hours, as officials detailed unprecedented damage from a Taliban assault on the base where Britain’s Prince Harry is deployed.
The shooting took place in Zabul province, part of the restive south where the more than 10-year Taliban insurgency is traditionally strongest, when Nato forces scrambled to a police checkpoint.
The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the incident was ‘suspected to involve members of the Afghan police’.Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hagen Messers said it was still unclear whether the attacker was an individual wearing a police uniform or definitely a policeman.
Source: The International News (Pakistan), 17 Sept 2012