NATO airstrike kills 27 civilians in Afghanistan

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VOV News English - 61 month(s) ago 1 readings

NATO airstrike kills 27 civilians in Afghanistan

A NATO airstrike in Afghanistan mistakenly killed 27 civilians, the government said on February 22, hurting a campaign to win over the local population and defeat Taliban insurgents. The Afghan cabinet condemned the deaths as "unjustifiable" after an aircraft fired on civilians, mistaking them for insurgents, in the south near the border of Uruzgan and Dai Kondi provinces. But US Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended work by the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan to avoid killing civilians. He added that incidents like the airstrike were inherent in conflict and part of "what makes war so ugly." Civilian casualties have caused friction between the government and foreign forces, who have launched two big offensives in the past eight months to try to turn the tide of a growing Taliban-led insurgency. Initially, the Afghan cabinet reported 33 deaths but later clarified that 27 people were killed. Sunday's toll was still the highest number of civilian deaths in months. Reuters

The Afghan cabinet condemned the deaths as "unjustifiable" after an aircraft fired on civilians, mistaking them for insurgents, in the south near the border of Uruzgan and Dai Kondi provinces.

But US Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended work by the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan to avoid killing civilians. He added that incidents like the airstrike were inherent in conflict and part of "what makes war so ugly."

Civilian casualties have caused friction between the government and foreign forces, who have launched two big offensives in the past eight months to try to turn the tide of a growing Taliban-led insurgency.

Initially, the Afghan cabinet reported 33 deaths but later clarified that 27 people were killed. Sunday's toll was still the highest number of civilian deaths in months.

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