Hundreds of Afghans in Dumanda district of Khost province, some 150 km southeast of capital Kabul, on Thursday staged a protest against the alleged killing of civilians by NATO-led troops.
Afghan men attend a protest against the alleged killing of civilians by NATO-led troops in Dumanda district of Khost province, some 150 km southeast of capital Kabul, on July 7, 2011. The protestors claimed that the NATO-led troops during an airstrike in Kabalkhil village of Dumanda district on Wednesday hit a civilian house, killing over a dozen civilians. (Xinhua/Hashmat)
The protestors claimed that the NATO-led troops during an airstrike in Kabalkhil village of Dumanda district on Wednesday hit a civilian house, killing over a dozen civilians.
"The bomb dropped by aircraft on Wednesday struck a house killing at least 13 people, all civilians and many of them children," a protester, namely Marjan Khan, told Xinhua.
Chanting anti-government and anti-NATO slogans, the protesters blocked the main highway linking Dumanda district to provincial Khost city and Gerdez city, the capital of the neighboring Paktia province, the protestors demanding punishment on those responsible for the killing of non-combatant citizens.
The protesters were peacefully dispersed later in the afternoon.
However, district police chief Hamidullah told Xinhua that the local administration has sent a team to investigate the claim and check if any civilians were killed or injured during the operation.
Nevertheless, he stated that at least 30 militants, possibly some of them civilians, had been killed during the operation against Taliban insurgents.
In the meantime, press department of NATO-led coalition in southeastern region of Afghanistan in a statement released Thursday confirmed the operation, saying the coalition troops had killed four people, all militants.
The deaths of Afghan civilians by NATO-led troops during operations against Taliban outfit have long been a contentious issue between the Afghan government and the U.S. and NATO forces in the insurgency-hit country.