8 civilians killed in NATO airstrike in Afghanistan


McClatchy Newspapers

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition officials are investigating reports that eight civilians – including six children – were killed when their home in the eastern province of Paktia was bombed on Saturday by a coalition aircraft.

There were no survivors in the attack, which took place around 8 p.m. in Gerda Serai district, completely destroying the house of a local man, said Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for Paktia’s governor.

“The head of the family, Mohammad Shafi, his wife and six children were all martyred (killed),” said Samoon.

“Mohammad Shafi is not on the black list of our security forces,” Samoon added. “That means he was neither Al Qaida nor Taliban.”

He said that Afghan security forces in the area had not been contacted before the strike by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the formal name for the U.S.-led coalition.

“Our concern is that ISAF troops don’t share these issues with the Afghan security forces,” Samoon told McClatchy. “If they had shared this with us, this (tragedy) wouldn’t have happened.”

ISAF spokesperson Lieutenant Lauren Rago said initial coalition reports indicated ISAF troops in southern Paktia were attacked by a large group of insurgents and had responded by returning fire and calling for air support.

“More information may be released as appropriate,” said Rago.

A statement from President Hamid Karzai’s office said he had dispatched a delegation to investigate the reported bombing.

Coalition air strikes that result in civilian casualties have long been a source of intense anger among Afghans, including Karzai, who has repeatedly criticized such incidents. The coalition has in recent years introduced strict rules for air strikes designed to reduce the number of killed or injured civilians.

In other violence, two civilians were killed and one wounded Sunday in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack at Marjah district in the restive southern province of Helmand, said a statement from the Helmand governor’s office.

The statement said security forces had arrested a suspect from Waziristan, a lawless tribal area in Pakistan that borders Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, ISAF confirmed Sunday that four of its service members had been killed on Saturday in four separate IED attacks in southern Afghanistan.

ISAF refused to release details about the location and nationality of those killed. However, Britain’s ministry of defense confirmed that one of its soldiers had been killed on Saturday when his vehicle was hit by an IED in Helmand province.

Special correspondent Ali Safi contributed reporting from Kabul.

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

In this photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014,  nurses gather outside the Faculty of Nursing, College of Medicine and Allied Health Services in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was one of those on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak. The tireless Khan was jovial but forceful, doling out praise and criticism to junior doctors at his hospital. But Khan became infected and died, and so have at least 120 other medical workers in Sierra Leone and in three other countries, creating immediate and long-term impacts in a region that already had an understaffed and under equipped health care system.

    Ebola takes big toll on already poor health care

    When the dreaded Ebola virus began infecting people in the Sierra Leone town of Kenema, Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan and his team were on the front lines. After stepping out of his protective suit following hours on a sweltering ward, he would jump on the phone to coordinate with the Ministry of Health, to deal with personnel issues and tend to hospital business.

A protester holds a sign reading 'Todays police protecting tomorrows Hitler', as they mount a counter-demonstration against an election meeting arranged by the neo-Nazi party "Svenskarnas Parti" at Gustav Adolfs square in central Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday Aug. 30, 2014.  The protesters let off smoke-bombs as tehy confronted police who enforced a cordon to enable the far right Svenskarnas Parti to hold their meeting.  (AP Photo / Fredrik Persson / TT)   SWEDEN OUT

    Clashes at Stockholm protest against neo-Nazis

    Swedish riot police have clashed with thousands of people protesting against a neo-Nazi political party's election rally in Stockholm about two weeks before a parliamentary vote.

FILE - In this Saturday May 22, 2004 file photo, Spanish Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and his wife Princess Letizia Ortiz leave the Almudena cathedral following their wedding in Madrid. Manuel Pertegaz, one of Spain’s most admired fashion designers who dressed Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and Ava Gardner, has died. He was 96. Pertegaz died Saturday in his hometown of Barcelona, Spain’s Education and Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert said. In a statement, Wert said he regretted Pertegaz’s passing, adding that to think of the designer was “to think of elegance.” The statement said Pertegaz had “dressed queens, princesses, actresses and countless celebrities,” in a long career that took off after he opened his first shop in Barcelona, aged 25. In 1953 he made ??his first trip to the United States and presented his collection in New York, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Queen Letizia of Spain chose a Pertegaz wedding dress for her marriage in 2004 to then Prince Felipe.

    Spanish fashion designer Pertegaz dies at 96

    Manuel Pertegaz, one of Spain's most admired fashion designers who dressed Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy and Ava Gardner, has died. He was 96.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category