NATO air strikes kill 50 in Afghanistan: lawmaker

March 18th, 2008 - 11:18 pm ICT by admin  

Kabul, March 18 (Xinhua) NATO’s air raids against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province have claimed the lives of 50 people, including 18 rebels, a provincial parliamentarian said Tuesday. “It was Monday afternoon when villagers were busy in playing local game, the stone throwing, in Marmal village of Sangin district. Suddenly the aircraft of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) appeared and dropped bombs, killing 50 on the spot,” Hajji Dad Mohammada told Xinhua.

He added that 18 of those killed in the raid were Taliban insurgents.

However, Mohammad Hussain Andiwal, the police chief of Helmand province, said he had no information about the incident.

Meantime, Carlose Branco, the spokesman of the NATO-led ISAF forces, said the claim was as groundless and added that the military alliance did not carry out any operation in Sangin district Monday.

“First of all, ISAF strongly deny the claim. There has been no ISAF operation in Marmal area of Sangin district yesterday,” he said.

However, he added that ISAF conducted an operation in the vicinity of Malmandcina area in Ghorak district of Kandahar Monday, destroying a vehicle of insurgents and killing 12 armed militants aboard.

He also stressed that the place where the operation conducted was two kilometres away from residential areas and air reconnaissance indicated there were no civilians.

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