KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the deaths of six people in a raid by NATO forces over conflicting claims that they were civilians or insurgents.
On Monday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) raided a house in the northern province of Sari Pul, killing six people and detaining four others.
The local provincial governor, Sayed Anwar Rahmati, told AFP the casualties were civilians but ISAF said they were insurgents and the deputy provincial police chief added there was no proof they were non-combatants.
Now Karzai has “assigned the Sari Pul governor to investigate the deaths of six people in an international military forces operation in his province,” a statement from the president’s office said.
Karzai frequently criticises US-led forces in Afghanistan over the deaths of civilians in military operations, a highly sensitive issue in Afghanistan and source of tension between Karzai and his Western allies.
Tensions in Afghanistan are currently high following the deaths of at least 24 people, including seven UN staff, in a recent wave of protests against last month’s burning of a copy of the Koran by a pastor in the United States.