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Afghan Children Dead After US Air Assault: Report


NATO says only two light injuries to civilians during operation in Logar province, but local official reports at least 17 killed

- Common Dreams staff

17 civilians have been killed in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan, according to a local official in Logar province.

The bodies were driven to the provincial capital of Pol-i-Alam (AFP/Graphics) Al-Jazeera reports that the target of the strike was the house of a tribal elder in the district of  Baraki Barak, citing the head of the Logar provincial council.

Denying the loss of innocent life, NATO said it knew of only two light injuries to civilians during the pre-dawn missile strike on Wednesday.

Deputy provincial police chief Rais Khan Sadeq Abdulrahimzai told AFP: "18 civilians, including women and children, are dead," adding that seven Taliban insurgents were also killed.

"He said he saw the bodies of three women and four children, one as young as a year old and the oldest about 10 years old."

*  *  *

Al-Jazeera: 'Afghan civilians killed'

A local Afghan official has said that 17 civilians have been killed in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.

In a statement, NATO said it knew of only two light injuries to civilians during the pre-dawn incident on Wednesday.

The target of the strike was the house of a tribal elder in Baraki Barak district of Logar province, the head of the Logar provincial council said.

He said the tribal elder and 16 members of his family, including women and children, were killed.

Six Taliban fighters, who were nearby, were also killed.

"That story in part is being corroborated by the governor's office which also says some civilians have been killed, as well as six armed people," said Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday.

"NATO is sticking to the line at the moment that it was targeting a Taliban leader and it called in the airstrike and only two women suffered light injuries," Smith added.

*  *  *

Agence France-Presse: Dozens of civilians die in bloody day in Afghanistan

...at least 15 civilians, including women and children, were killed in a NATO air strike on a home in Logar province south of Kabul, police said.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said "multiple insurgents" were killed in the air strike, which was ordered after troops came under fire.

But deputy provincial police chief Rais Khan Sadeq Abdulrahimzai told AFP: "18 civilians, including women and children, are dead," adding that seven Taliban insurgents were also killed.

Provincial government spokesman Din Mohammad Darvish said "around 15 civilians are dead" after the attack in the early hours of Wednesday.

An AFP correspondent said he saw at least 15 bodies that had been loaded into five vehicles and driven by villagers to the provincial capital of Pol-i-Alam.

He said he saw the bodies of three women and four children, one as young as a year old and the oldest about 10 years old.

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