Australian forces launched a pre-dawn raid on a village in Oruzgan Province, sparking a gunbattle that left five children dead and several others wounded. The Australian military defended the killings, saying they were “in accordance with the rules of engagement,” but declined to elaborate on how they were killed.
The Afghan defense ministry condemned the attack, though they cited only three civilians killed in their statement. They further asked “international forces not to conduct operations without the coordination of Afghan forces.”
The provincial governor warned that the killings would further undermine the already dwindling confidence of the Afghan population in an international military operation that is killing more and more civilians and controlling less and less of the country.
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