NATO Strike Kills Four Police Officers, Two Civilians In Afghanistan; Casualties Suffered In Retaliatory Move Against Taliban Attack On Local Police Post

 
on April 04 2013 5:50 AM

A NATO air strike killed four Afghan police officers and two civilians in Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province, officials said on Thursday.

According to local media reports, Deh Yak district governor Fazal Ahmad confirmed the NATO strike that took place around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday evening at Sulaimanzai village in the district.

“A number of the Afghan local police officers were patrolling when they were attacked by NATO aircrafts, killing four police officers along with two civilians," Fazul Ahmad Tolwak, chief of Ghazni's Deh Yak district, told Afghan online newspaper Khaama Press.

Local authorities said the police officers and civilians were killed mistakenly during the air strikes and the police officers were not in uniform. The attack occurred after Taliban militants attacked a local police post and NATO planes were called in to support the officers under attack.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led NATO force in Kabul told the AFP that the military was checking the information.

Ghazni province in central-eastern Afghanistan is rife with militant activities, and Afghan and NATO forces have launched joint military operations to end the insurgency.

On March 30, a NATO helicopter reportedly killed two children during an attack on Taliban fighters.

Civilian casualties caused by the air strikes are a significant cause of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the international forces led by NATO.  

Last month, Karzai forbade Afghan forces from calling for NATO air support and also demanded that NATO end aerial raids "in Afghan homes or villages" after an air strike that killed 10 civilians, mostly women and children.

The strike came a day after Taliban gunmen killed 46 people at a court complex in the western city of Farah in a bid to free insurgents standing trial.

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