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NATO says investigating airstrike in Afghanistan

By Amir Shah & Patrick Quinn

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:41 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan » The U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan said today that it is investigating an airstrike it launched that killed a child and injured two women, leading to a condemnation of the attack by the country's president.

The coalition, known as the International Security Assistance Force, said Thursday's airstrike also killed an insurgent in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

"The International Security Assistance Force confirms that an airstrike was conducted on a known insurgent riding a motorbike in Helmand," ISAF said.

It added that it was also aware that Afghan authorities said "that in addition to the insurgent being killed, there was one child also killed and two women injured. ISAF, along with Afghan authorities, will immediately conduct an investigation into the incident."

The coalition said it regretted any civilian casualties as a result of its airstrike and that it was "committed to ensuring that all measures are taken to prevent civilian casualties. Coalition officials will work with Afghan officials to determine what happened and why. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed or wounded."

President Hamid Karzai in the past has criticized the coalition for civilian casualties from some airstrikes. Such incidents have fallen off sharply in recent years following stricter guidelines by NATO on the use of air power against ground targets.

Karzai has demanded an end to all such incidents along with a stop to all raids on Afghan homes by foreign forces as a condition for him to sign a long-delayed security deal with the United States.

He has already deferred signing a deal until his second and last term expires in April, but has not completely excluded the possibility of doing so.

The Taliban and other insurgent groups are blamed for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties, most of which are caused by roadside bombs targeting Afghan or foreign forces.

They also have carried out attacks against government and elected officials as well as people working for the administration.

In one such attack today in Kabul, a suicide bomber wounded a parliament deputy at his home.

Claiming to be a constituent, the attacker detonated a bomb hidden in his turban when he entered the home of Hamidullah Tokhi, a deputy from southern Zabul province, Kabul police chief Mohammad Zahir said.

It was unclear why Tokhi was targeted, but he has been a vociferous critic of the Taliban and fought against them when the ruled the country.

Zahir said Tokhi was hospitalized but was not seriously wounded. No group immediately claimed the attack, though the Taliban previously have used bombs hidden in turbans to carry out suicide attacks.

In southern Kandahar, provincial spokesman Jaweed Faisal said a suicide bomber also tried to attack a NATO convoy but missed, instead killing a child and wounding three passers-by.

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livinginhawaii wrote:
If you are of the opinion that we should be reducing air strikes, please take the time to watch Lone Survivor before suggesting the need for a reduction.
on November 29,2013 | 06:47AM
Morimoto wrote:
Well if the US weren't invading other people's lands, none of this would be a problem, now would it. Don't blame people who don't want invaders in their land, they're just doing what they feel is right.
on November 29,2013 | 07:39AM
SteveToo wrote:
Bring the troops home and let the crazy b-a-s-t-a-r-d-s kill each other. Why should I care?
on November 29,2013 | 07:34AM
Morimoto wrote:
Just like I don't care how many Americans die or get permanently disabled fighting this immoral war. Must be tough when you come home missing limbs or with TBI or PTSD and then realize you were wrong all along.
on November 29,2013 | 07:40AM
Charliegrunt wrote:
It is sad and unfortunate when there are civilian casualties in any firefight between military and terrorist/guerilla forces. However, let's be completely honest. The insurgents know this and force civilians to accompany their forces just to get those results. It happened in Vietnam and continues to this day. When are our currently elected politicians going to tell that fraud Karzai what to do to himself, and quit letting him rip our country off. What does Afghanistan mean to us? It's not an ally, nor do we gain any benefits of having relations with it. We haven't been able to train that rabble it has for police or military in over 12 years. We can't show any gains with the billions of our hard earned dollars that we pour into that country. Karzai never mentions it when Afghan police and military that we train and operate with kill our people. He never offers to turn them over to US authorities for trial. If these stupid politicians in office haven't got the brains or the guts to cut him off, pull our troops out, and deny him asylum, vote them out of office.
on November 29,2013 | 07:38AM
HD36 wrote:
The US has six military bases in Afghanistan in order to prevent the Iran-Pakistan-China gas pipleline. The US would like Pakistan to use an alternative pipleline that runs through Afhganistan and is controlled by Saudi Arabia. The former pipeline, controlled by Iran would circumvent the OPEC petro dollar recycling system that FDR started, and supply China instead of India. By recycling surplus dollars into US Treasury Bonds, the government is assured of a steady supply of dollar demand. If the petro dollar is weakened by this pipeline, the $17 trillion dollar deficit problem becomes magnified by an order of 10.
on November 29,2013 | 10:54AM
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