"Killing of 17 Afghan Civilians in US-led operation; At least 1,500 civilians were among the 4,000 people killed in the first eight months of 2008
One civilian was killed during a US-led coalition forces operation in Masmo village of Ali-shing district of eastern Laghman province. (Photos: PAN/Najibulrahman Enqalabi)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday condemned the reported killing of 17 civilians, including women and children, in a US-led coalition operation in eastern Afghanistan, the presidential palace said in a statement. The US military said on Wednesday that their forces killed 32 Taliban insurgents, including an armed female militant, in an operation that targeted a roadside bomb-making network in Alishing district of Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan.
The military statement said that the combined forces fought the 75 militants barricaded in a compound with small-arms-fire, avoiding air support and artillery fire in order to minimize the potential for civilian deaths.
But a statement issued by Karzai's office said that besides terrorists, "17 civilians including women and children were also martyred in the operation."
President Karzai condemned the incident and said, "The Afghan government has repeatedly made it clear that we want a quick end to these kinds of incidents."
Colonel Greg Julian, US military spokesman in Afghanistan, denied there were any civilian deaths....--MORE--"