Thursday, October 26, 2006

'Civilians killed' in Nato raids


Scores of civilians have been killed during Nato operations against Taleban fighters in southern Afghanistan, local officials and civilians say.
Nato says it is helping Afghan defence officials investigate the reports in Panjwayi district of Kandahar province.

The alliance had "credible reports" of some civilian casualties, but could not confirm reports of 60 dead civilians. It said 48 militants had been killed.

In September Nato said it had routed the Taleban in the area.

Reports from Panjwayi district say the Nato raids began on Tuesday, during the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan, and continued into the night.

They said that several houses were hit, and civilians killed.

Villagers told the BBC Pashto service that the bodies of many locals had been pulled from the rubble of their homes after the raids and buried.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zmarai Bashiry told the BBC that local police and officials had confirmed more than 40 villagers killed in the Nato raids.

Other officials put the death toll higher. .....

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