Karzai charges NATO with killing seven civilians
KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday accused NATO-led international forces of killing seven civilians, most of them children, in an air strike in the southern province of Kandahar.
“Initial reports as stated by the district sub-governor indicate that an air strike carried out by the international forces in Siacha village in Zhari district killed seven persons including six children and injured another two young girls,” a statement from the presidential palace said.
“President Karzai was saddened when he heard the news and designated a team to fully investigate the incident.”
The governor of Zhari district Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi, contacted by AFP, said that the strike was aimed at Taliban fighters planting roadside mines in the area but missed its target and hit residential areas nearby.
A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said he was aware of reports of civilian casualties in Kandahar, adding that a joint assessment team was going to the site.
Civilian deaths have strained relations for years between NATO-led forces and the Afghan government.