Nato admits Afghan children killed

2012-02-13 19:31
Kabul - The US-led Nato force in Afghanistan on Monday conceded that several children died during a bombing raid last week in the northeast province where French troops are based.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai had condemned the air strikes and ordered an investigation after saying that eight children were killed on February 8.

Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesperson for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said that an ongoing assessment showed that troops engaged "a group of men, who were armed and engaging in unusual behaviour".

"This group was engaged by coalition aircraft and that engagement followed all ISAF tactical directives. Following the engagement, additional casualties were discovered and these casualties were young Afghans of varying ages.

"At this point in our assessment, we can neither confirm nor deny, with reasonable assurance, a direct link to the engagement," he said.

Homes raided

But Mohammad Tahir Safi, a member of parliament for Kapisa and part of the investigation team dispatched by Karzai, disagreed.

To reporters, he narrated an account in which the local head of Afghan intelligence told a French colonel that the area of the planned operation was "not a threat", refusing to countenance an operation.

Safi said French troops raided the homes of two former jihadi commanders before dawn, confiscating "only one mortar round, a shotgun... some AK rounds and nothing else".

About 600m west of the village, children gathered to start a fire when "all of a sudden a plane dropped one bomb in first round and another bomb later", he said, showing pictures of bloodied children in shrouds.

"There were eight people and all innocent children and you can see their pictures," he said. The dead were aged between six and 14, with "another guy aged about 18 to 20" who was mentally ill, Safi said.

Strained relationship

Jacobson called any deaths of innocent people a tragedy but insisted: "We simply are not yet certain how this happened."

The Afghan president, who has a strained relationship with his Western allies, has regularly condemned Nato for civilian deaths in the decade-long war against Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow him.

At the time, Kapisa district police chief Abdul Hamid Erkin said that seven children and a mentally-handicapped 20-year-old were killed.

He said French commanders "claimed that the target was a group of Taliban facilitators, but we checked the area and there were no Taliban".

Last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said troops would hand over responsibility for security in Kapisa to Afghans from March 2012, following the killing of four French soldiers by an Afghan they were training.

Read more on:    nato  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  afghanistan  |  war
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is hard to keep some sort of balance when the natural rhythm has flown out the window. The best thing to do is try not to keep...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.