NATO artillery kills three children in Afghanistan

September 1st, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Sep 1 (Xinhua) At least three children were killed and seven wounded Monday when artillery fire by NATO-led security forces accidentally hit a civilian compound in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktika, officials said.The incident occurred when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) called for return fire after insurgents attacked one of its convoy in Gayan district of the province, the ISAF said in a statement.

The artillery shell “accidentally” landed close to a civilian compound, killing at least three children and wounding seven, it said.

“The ISAF deeply regrets the accident.” An investigation is currently underway, the statement said.

This incident occurred just a week after 90 civilians were accidentally killed by coalition troops in the country’s western province of Herat during an operation against militants.

The locals strongly condemned the incidents. In a statement last week, the Afghan cabinet called for halting the civilian casualties.

Currently, around 70,000-strong foreign troops are in Afghanistan to fight insurgency.

According to an UN estimate, nearly 700 civilians have been killed in insurgency related violence so far this year in Afghanistan.

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