NATO troops kill Afghan President Karzai’s cousin during operationMarch 10th, 2011 - 9:44 pm ICT by BNO News
KABUL (BNO NEWS) — Troops with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on early Thursday morning killed a cousin of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, local officials said.
Afghan officials said Karzai’s cousin, Haji Yar Mohammad Khan, was killed during a night operation by ISAF forces in Kandahar City of Kandahar Province. An ISAF spokesperson could not confirm the claim, but said it was investigating.
“We’re aware of the reporting and are looking into it, however we are not able to confirm the identity of the individual killed at this time,” said U.S. Major Michael Johnson, a spokesperson for ISAF.
ISAF did confirm the operation took place, saying it captured a Taliban leader who allegedly was responsible for the distribution of car bomb materials to fighters throughout Kandahar City. “He also coordinated the receipt of weapons and materials from associates outside of Afghanistan, and distributed them to various Taliban members in the province,” an ISAF statement said.
During the operation, ISAF said, security forces advanced to the targeted compound in Kandahar Province where they called for all occupants to exit the building peacefully before conducting searches. “A member observed an armed individual with an AK-47 in an adjacent building within the same compound. The security force assessed the male as an immediate threat to the security force, and engaged him,” ISAF added.
The incident comes at a time when U.S.-Afghan relations are under extreme pressure over a number of incidents involving civilian casualties. Earlier this month, ISAF forces accidentally killed nine civilians in the Darah-Ye Pech district of Kunar Province.
On Wednesday, an annual report released and conducted by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said the number of conflict-related civilian deaths in Afghanistan increased by 15 percent in 2010.
According to the report, anti-government elements were linked to 2,080 civilian deaths (75 percent of all civilian deaths), up 28 percent from 2009, while pro-government forces such as ISAF were linked to 440 civilian deaths (16 percent), down 26 percent from 2009.
In addition, 9 percent of civilian deaths in 2010 could not be attributed to any party to the conflict.
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Tags: assistance mission, bno, bomb materials, car bomb, civilian casualties, civilian deaths, darah, extreme pressure, hamid karzai, human rights commission, independent human rights, international security assistance, isaf, kandahar province, nato troops, security force, taliban leader, unama, united nations assistance mission in afghanistan, yar mohammad khan