Afghanistan: Officials claim NATO air strike kills women, kids at wedding party
Published: June 6, 2012
KABUL: Afghan officials and residents say a pre-dawn NATO air strike aimed at militants in eastern Afghanistan killed civilians celebrating a wedding, including women and children. Witnesses said they saw the bodies of five women, seven children and six men piled in the back of vans that villagers drove to the capital of Logar province to protest Wednesday’s strike on a house in the volatile Baraki Barak district.
Maj. Martin Crighton, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan, tells CBS News an air strike targeting a high ranking Taliban leader was called in Tuesday night in Logar as a joint team of Afghan and coalition forces approached a compound and were shot at.
He added that after the air strike, forces found two injured women and took them to a coalition base for treatment.
Crighton added that the coalition takes any allegations of civilian casualties very seriously and a joint team had been sent to the area to assess the situation and the reports of civilian casualties. He would not rule out civilian casualties, but said he did not have the latest information from the military forces on the ground in Logar province.
The villagers say all of those killed had been at a wedding. Afghan government officials said militants were also among the dead.
Meanwhile, a NATO helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan left two coalition troops dead, according to the military alliance. The soldiers’ nationalities were not disclosed.
Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least 22 people outside a sprawling military base used by the U.S.-led coalition in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack near the Kandahar Air Field.
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