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Karzai: US Airstrike Kills 7 Afghan Children, 1 Woman, in Parwan Province

Children killed by an earlier NATO airstrike in Kunar province, Afghanistan (Photo: rawa.org)

Children killed by an earlier NATO airstrike in Kunar province, Afghanistan (Photo: rawa.org)

Afghanistan’s president on Wednesday accused the United States of killing a woman and seven children in an airstrike in Parwan province.

Agence France-Presse reports Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused US-led forces of killing the innocent civilians on Tuesday night.

“As a result of bombardment by American forces last night… in Siahgird district of Parwan province, one woman and seven children were martyred and one civilian was injured,” a statement issued by Karzai’s office claimed.

“The Afghan government has been asking for a complete end to operations in Afghan villages for years, but American forces acting against all mutual agreements… have once again bombarded a residential area and killed civilians,” the statement said.

The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it was “aware of reports that at least two civilians were inadvertently killed today during an Afghan-led joint operation in Ghorband (Siahgird) district.”

“An enemy force engaged Afghan and coalition forces from several compounds,” ISAF said. “Afghan and coalition forces returned fire and required defensive air support to suppress enemy fire.”

ISAF said one of its soldiers was killed in the fighting. It claimed 10 enemy resistance fighters were also killed. The Taliban claimed that it killed a dozen Afghan soldiers, although the Islamic fundamentalist group often exaggerates its enemy death tolls.

Civilian casualties have long been the cause of tension between Karzai, the Afghan people and the US-led NATO forces that invaded and occupied Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Karzai has been so frustrated by continued NATO killing of civilians that he once threatened to join the Taliban. Last February, Karzai ordered US forces out of Wardak province, where he accused Americans of “torturing and murdering” innocents.

Since the US-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan began in October 2001, as many as 19,000 civilians have been killed, according to The Costs of War Project. The vast majority of these deaths have been attributed to the Taliban and other militant resistance groups.

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