Tentara Afganistan dan NATO Tembaki Warga Sipil
SUMBER: Tempo Interaktif
TEMPO Interaktif, Asadabad -Operasi-operasi gabungan antara pasukan Afganistan dan tentara asing yang dipimpin NATO dalam empat hari terakhir telah menewaskan 64 warga sipil di Kunar, provinsi bagian timur. Demikian dikatakan Gubernur Kunar hari ini.
“Mereka membunuh dengan serangan-serangan darat dan udara di distrik Ghazi Abad,” ujar Gubernur Kunar, Fazlullah Wahidi, kepada Reuters.
Seorang juru bicara untuk pasukan International Security Assistance yang dipimpin NATO bilang, mereka tengah menyelidiki laporan-laporan media soal 7 warga sipil yang kemungkinan terluka parah dalam operasi-operasi itu tapi tidak memperhatikan laporan-laporan apapun kematian warga sipil.
Afghans say joint NATO forces kill 64 civilians
(Reuters) – More than 60 civilians, including women and children, were killed in four days of operations by NATO-led troops and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said on Sunday.
Governor Fazlullah Wahidi told Reuters that 64 civilians were killed by ground and air strikes in the Ghazi Abad district of eastern Kunar province.
An Afghan presidential palace statement said more than 50 civilians had been killed, based on information from religious leaders, local officials and security forces.
“President (Hamid) Karzai strongly condemned the air strikes by foreign troops,” the statement said.
Civilian casualties in NATO-led military operations, often caused by air strikes and night raids, have long caused friction between the Afghan government and its Western backers.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) cast doubt on the reported death toll, but said an investigation involving Afghan officials would begin on Monday.
Rear Admiral Greg Smith, the chief ISAF spokesman, said the inquiry would center on a firefight that began in a rugged and remote area on Thursday night and lasted more than five hours.
Video from weapons systems did not indicate any civilians, or permanent settlements, were in the area, he told Reuters.
“We had clear intelligence they were planning a meeting, a massing of Taliban, in that area that evening,” Smith said.
He said that those targeted scattered in small groups along ridgelines and down into a remote valley and that “high-probability” — apparently insurgent — targets had been hit.
Earlier ISAF statements said 36 armed insurgents were killed and that seven civilians may have been wounded in a separate incident.
Governor Wahidi said that of the 64 dead, 20 were women, 29 were children or young adults, and the other 15 were adult men.
Operations have been going on in Ghazi Abad since February 16.
An earlier ISAF statement on Sunday said ISAF had engaged an unknown number of insurgents in two separate operations and attacked with small-arms fire and air strikes. The coalition also said earlier seven civilians may have been wounded.