Police: Four Children Killed in NATO Afghan Night Raid

March 28th, 2013 - by admin

Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Samiullah Paiwand / Reuters & Mirwais Adeel / Khaama.com – 2013-03-28 01:39:53

Police: Four Children Killed in Afghan Night Raid

Police: Four Children Killed in Afghan Night Raid
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com

(March 27, 2013) — Local police are confirming that a NATO-led night raid against the Logar Province left at least five civilians, including four children dead, and a number of others wounded.

Logar official Rais Seddiq confirmed that two of the slain civilians were killed immediately, and that three others died of their wounds in the hospital. The confirmation sparked an angry reaction from the Afghan Defense Ministry.

“All those killed were armed,” the ministry insisted, following up on the previous report that claimed 23 “Taliban” were killed and no civilians. The Taliban had insisted they only lost 12 members, but also reported civilian bystanders were killed in the attack.

Night raids have been hugely controversial in Afghanistan, with the Karzai government repeatedly attempting to ban them entirely, and NATO repeatedly claiming the reports of civilian deaths are overstated. The incident today may point to a split between Karzai and the defense ministry.

Four Children Killed in Afghan-coalition Operation
Samiullah Paiwand / Reuters

KABUL (March 27, 2013) — Afghan and international special forces staged a night raid in the country’s restive east, with police on Wednesday saying five civilians died in the operation, four of them children. While the defence ministry said there had been no civilian deaths in the overnight operation in Logar province, Reuters television footage taken in the village, Sejewand, showed the bodies of at least three children.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has previously criticised special forces raids in Afghan villages, particularly those in which civilians are killed. An Interior Ministry statement said 23 Taliban fighters were killed and 26 captured during the fighting in Sejewand.

Logar police official Rais Khan Seddiq said the operation was undertaken by Afghan commandos, assisted by international special forces, in order to rescue two Afghan soldiers captured the previous day by the Taliban. “Two civilians were killed and three were wounded,” Seddiq said, adding that those wounded had later died. Four of the dead were children, he said.

The defence ministry rejected any notion of civilian deaths. The ministry’s head of operations, Afzal Aman, told Reuters that all those killed or detained had been carrying weapons.

“We.., do not accept the claim of civilian casualties. All those killed or detained were armed, but an investigation is occurring and it will become clear if there are any civilians among the dead,” he said.

Allegations of disappearances and illegal killings in neighbouring Wardak province prompted Karzai to halt all US special operations there last month. While he also ordered international troops out of some areas of the province, that has yet to occur.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at least 40 civilians had been killed during the fighting, but later revised that figure to 28. The Taliban often claim their fighters killed in battle were civilians, an ISAF spokesman said.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says it has reduced civilian casualties in recent years, and insurgents such as the Taliban are now responsible for 84 per cent of all such deaths and injuries.

Additional Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Writing by Dylan Welch; Editing by Ron Popeski.

23 Taliban Militants Killed, 26 Injured in Logar Province
Mirwais Adeel / Khaama.com

(March 27, 2013) — According to local authorities in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan, at least 23 Taliban militants were killed and around 26 others were injured following joint military operations by Afghan and coalition security forces in Baraki Barak district.

Provincial security chief Raees Khan Abdul Rahimzai confirming the report said the operations were conducted in Sajawon village during the past two days.

Mr. Rahimzai further added over 40 other militants were also arrested during the military operations and Afghan along with the coalition security forces seized some weapons, ammunitions and explosives during the operations.

In the meantime Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid deny the reports and said only 12 Taliban fighters were killed during the operations and several civilians were killed or injured. Provincial council chief Dr. Abdul Wali also confirmed the death of 4 children and 1 woman during the operations.

Article printed from Khaama Press (KP): Afghan Online Newspaper: http://www.khaama.com