A US/NATO attack in southern Afghanistan has resulted in the deaths of a number of civilians. The imperialist occupation of the central Asian nation has fueled anti-US sentiments throughout the world., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
NATO airstrike kills 14 Afghan civilians
CTV.ca News Staff
Updated: Sun. May. 29 2011 9:08 AM ET
Fourteen women and children are dead after a NATO airstrike flattened two homes in southwestern Afghanistan, a government official said Sunday -- an incident that stands to add to the strain between alliance and Afghan officials over civilian deaths.
The attack in Helmand province, which was targeted at insurgents in retaliation for an earlier attack on a nearby U.S. Marine base, instead hit two houses, killing five girls, seven boys and two women, according to provincial spokesperson Dawood Ahmadi.
A NATO spokesperson did not confirm the strike, but said a joint delegation of Afghan and alliance officials are headed to the area to investigate.
Civilian deaths are an increasing source of tension between NATO and the Afghan government. After repeatedly calling on coalition forces to cut down on error-prone night raids and airstrikes, Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday ordered that only government troops should conduct night raids and that raids should be cleared in advance with the Afghan authorities.
It wasn't immediately clear what impact, if any, his orders would have on NATO's actions.
The coalition has defended the raids as necessary to flush out insurgents from their hideouts.
The country has seen more bloodshed since insurgents stepped up their efforts for a greater, springtime offensive.
On Saturday, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up inside a heavily guarded compound in northern Afghanistan -- killing two senior Afghan police commanders and wounding a German general in command of coalition troops in the region. Two German soldiers and two other Afghans were also killed in the blast.
With files from The Associated Press