Afghan probe confirms civilians killed in NATO raid

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October 5, 2010 15:46

Villagers stand next to the bodies of civilians killed in a NATO raid on 8 December, 2009. Photo - Reuters

Who: A Kabul-appointed delegation.

What: At least 13 civilians were killed in a NATO raid, investigators appointed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared in their report. The findings challenge NATO claims of killing 30 militants during a combined air and ground assault. The report added that a number of civilians were armed but did not say if they used their weapons against the occupation army.

Where: The deadly assault was carried out by NATO troops in Masmut village of Alishang district in Laghman province.

When: Villagers said their homes were attacked at 2100 (local time) on 25 September.

Why: According to the NATO, more than 250 Afghan and foreign troops had battled insurgents in eastern Laghman province, killing at least 30 insurgents in an air and ground assault. Villagers immediately condemned the raid and insisted 13 innocent people including women were brutally massacred in the raid. An Al-Jazeera video report filed from the village on 28 September verified civilian claims. A spokesman for ISAF said it had completed its independent investigation and would release further information over the next two days.

How: Afghan civilians traditionally keep weapons, like AK-47 assault rifles, at home to defend themselves from thieves, thugs, militants and occupation forces who at times enter their villages without prior notice. According to Al-Jazeera, NATO forces killed a Taliban commander along with 17 other civilians last year. The villagers denied the presence of Taliban or al-Qaeda insurgents in the area at the time of the raid.

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