Afghan children killed by NATO airstrike

  • Eleven children were killed in a NATO air strike in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday.

    At least one woman is believed to have died and a further six were injured in the incident in the Shigal district of Kunar province.

    In a statement released on Sunday, the NATO-led International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) said: "We are aware of an incident yesterday in Kunar province in which insurgents engaged an Afghan and coalition force.

    "No ISAF personnel were involved on the ground, but ISAF provided fire support from the air, killing several insurgents. We are also aware of reports of several civilians injured from the engagement, but no reports of civilian deaths. ISAF takes all reports of civilian casualties seriously, and we are currently assessing the incident. The air support was called in by coalition forces, not Afghans, and was used to engage insurgent forces in areas away from structures, according to our reporting."

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the killings and has ordered an investigation.

    The region has been the focal point of intense fighting between Taliban and U.S./Afghan forces over the last decade.

    Civilian deaths caused by Western military operations have raised tensions between the Afghan government and the U.S. and its NATO allies.

    Last February, at least 10 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in a NATO air strike in the same area.

    Earlier this year, Karzai banned Afghan security forces from calling in air strikes in residential areas.

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