Officials: NATO Kills 16 Civilians in Afghan Air Strike

NATO Confirms Strike But Not Deaths

by Jason Ditz, July 12, 2011

The latest in a growing number of such incidents, Afghan officials today confirmed that NATO air strikes in the Logar Province killed some 16 civlians. NATO confirmed the strikes but provided no indication of civilian deaths.

The story is remarkably similar to those in the past, with NATO’s official story reporting that “numerous” insurgents were slain in an air strike in a remote district with only nominal government control. Shortly thereafter, the bodies of the women and children dug from the rubble began to turn up.

The local MP claimed that four Taliban had also been killed in the strike, while provincial officials put that number at seven. The attacks apparently targeted a meeting at a house but also destroyed a neighboring house.

The attack is the deadliest civilian killings in the nation in weeks, and comes just days after a strike in Khost Province killed 14 civilians. The US has dramatically escalated the number of air strikes since the ouster of Gen. Stanley McChrystal last year, and civilian deaths have seen a commensorate rise.

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