Air strike kills 4 civilians in S Afghanistan, locals stage protest
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-05 15:09:42   Print

    KABUL, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has announced to investigate the reported killing of four civilians in Kanahar, said a news release provided by the alliance on Wednesday.

    "We are aware of news reports of civilian casualties in the area, and are investigating those allegations. The insurgents were engaged in a field away from dwellings or other population areas." it said.

    Early this morning some 100 people from Kohat village in Arghandab district took four bodies to Kandahar city of southern Afghanistan, as a sign of protest alleging that international troops carried out air raids on the village at 01:00 a.m., which left four civilians including three children dead.

    Meanwhile, the alliance in its news letter noted that, " a helicopter intercepted four insurgents on motorcycles in a field last night near Arghandab district. The helicopter engaged militants with guns and rockets, however the explosions heard by locals were caused when jugs the insurgents were carrying exploded."

    Local TV reports said a suspected U.S. drone hit the house of Akramuddin, father-in-law of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mahsud whom the Pakistani army has been hunting, killing four people including a girl in northwest Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday

    There was no information if Akramuddin was inside the house at the time of the attack at Zangara area of South Waziristan. Officials said that the drone destroyed the house.

    According to locals, several guests were also in the house when the attack was carried out.

    The U.S. drone aircraft regularly attack hideouts of the militants in Pakistan's trial region. Militants believe that Pakistani authorities provide intelligence to the U.S. for drone attacks, but the government denied the claim.

    The U.S has intensified drone attacks on the tribal regions despite Pakistan's protest at a time when the security forces are engaged in major offensive against Baitulalh Mahsud in South Waziristan.

    Pakistan insists that drone attacks are counterproductive and must be stopped but U.S. officials have ruled out any change in the policy.

    Pakistani officials said the drone strikes have killed more than 400 people in more than 40 attacks since August 2008.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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