An Afghan woman who lost family members weeps after air strikes on Friday in Azizabad district of Shindand August 23, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
KABUL, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Afghan government's
investigating team into the case of killing civilians by U.S. air strikes in
western Herat province has found that 90 non-combatants were killed in the raids
on Aug. 22, a statement released by the Presidential Palace Sunday said.
The Minister for Haji and Religious
Affairs and head of the investigation team Nimatullah Shahrani said that the air
strikes left 90 civilians dead and injured six others while presenting his
report to President Hamid Karzai.
"As a result of the air bombardments in Azizabad and
Nawabad villages of Shindand district on Aug. 22, a total 90 civilians including
15 men, 15 women and 60 children ranging from one to 18 years old were killed,"
Shahrani said in the report.
Shahrani also said that eight houses were completely
destroyed and seven others were partly damaged in the air strikes which lasted
for six hours.
"The locals had shown the body parts of the victims
including hands, legs and heads of those killed in the tragic incident to the
investigating team," said Shahrani.
The U.S.-led Coalition forces also took with
themselves five more civilians after the bloody operation, the statement said.
Based on the information of the locals, the
investigation team stressed there were no militants in the areas where the air
raids were carried out.
Both the Coalition forces and Afghan defense ministry
at the beginning disputed the claim, saying 25 insurgents and five civilians
were killed in the raid.
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
after investigating the case last week confirmed the dead of 90 civilians in the
bombardments and called on warring sides to respect the rights of
The Afghan cabinet also called for regulating the
authority and responsibilities of international troops in the war-torn country
after the huge civilian casualties in western Herat