Archive for Sunday, July 1, 2007

100 reported killed in NATO, U.S.-led assault

July 1, 2007

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— Just a week after Afghan President Hamid Karzai chastised international forces for being "careless," Afghan officials reported Saturday that possibly 100 or more civilians had been killed in a NATO and U.S.-led assault.

The battle in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, which was prompted by a Taliban ambush, began Friday night and continued into Saturday morning, Afghan officials said. It ended with international forces bombing several compounds in the remote village of Hyderabad.

"More than 100 people have been killed. But they weren't Taliban. The Taliban were far away from there," said Wali Khan, a member of parliament who represents the area. "The people are already unhappy with the government. But these kinds of killings of civilians will cause people to revolt against the government."

Another parliament member from Helmand, Mahmood Anwar, said that the death toll was close to 100 and that the dead included women and children. "Very few Taliban were killed," he said.

Spokesmen for the international forces acknowledged that civilians were killed in the battle, though they disputed the numbers.

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