Air strikes kill dozen civilians in Afghanistan

November 5th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanKabul, Nov 5 (Xinhua) Air raids against a suspected hideout of Taliban insurgents in south Afghanistan’s Kandahar province claimed the lives of nearly one dozen civilians, sources said Wednesday. “On Monday afternoon the international forces from the air and ground pounded a house in Shah Walikot district leaving more than 10 people dead and injuring 10 others including a bride,” a resident Abdul Jabbar said.

Meanwhile, the Mirwais hospital in Kandahar city, according to media reports, admitted 11 people injured in the incident.

The US-led coalition forces said they have initiated an investigation into the incident with Afghan interior ministry.

“The coalition and Afghan authorities are investigating reports of non-combatant casualties in the village of Wech Baghtu,” the coalition statement quoted Jeff Bender, of US forces in Afghanistan, as saying.

“If innocent people were killed in this operation, we apologize and express our condolences to the families and the people of Afghanistan,” Bender said. “We have dispatched coalition personnel to the site to quickly assess the situation and take actions as appropriate.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday in a press conference immediately after the announcement of Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election called for change in the strategy on Afghan war.

Karzai emphasized that war against terrorism in Afghanistan’s villages would not deliver as Afghanistan itself is a victim of terrorism.

“Instead, the war on terror should be conducted in areas where the sanctuaries of terrorists and their training centres exist,” he added.

The president did not specify where the training centres are located but Afghan officials said Taliban insurgents and their Al Qaeda allies take shelter in Pakistan’s tribal region across the Afghan border.

Hundreds of Afghan civilians have been killed in the US-led war on terror in Afghanistan during the seven years the most gruesome being an incident in Shindand district of Herat in western Afghanistan where an air raid in August killed 91 non-combatants including women and children.

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