Four civilians, nine policemen killed in “accidental” Afghan firing


Kabul : Four Afghan civilians and nine police officers were killed in “accidental” firing by the foreign troops in southeastern and western Afghanistan, ISAF and Afghan officials said on Sunday.

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The incident happened in Barmal district of Paktika province last night, said a statement from headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“An ISAF unit on a fire mission accidentally killed four civilians with an unconfirmed further three deaths. Four civilians were also wounded and are now under treatment by ISAF forces,” the statement said.

It said the ISAF unit fired two mortar rounds which landed nearly one kilometre away from the intended target.

Regretting the civilian casualties, ISAF said investigations had been ordered into the incident.

Separately, a provincial official said the foreign troops killed nine Afghan police officers following a “friendly” exchange of fire in western Afghanistan.

Yunas Rasooli, deputy governor of Afghanistan’s western Farah Province, said the policemen opened fire at the foreign troops vehicles approaching them in the border area last night.

He said the foreign troops had not informed the local officials about their movement in the area and the policemen took them for Taliban, leading to the accident.

Rasooli said the exchange of fire lasted for nearly three hours. The foreign troops called air support and the aircrafts bombed the policmen killing nine officers.

The deputy governor would not say the troops were from NATO of the US-led coalition.

Both NATO and coalition officials in Kabul say they did not know about the incident.