NATO Kills at Least Four in Afghan Night Raid Against Mosque

Attack Damages Mosque, Sparks Protests Among Civilians

by Jason Ditz, January 13, 2013

NATO forces launched a night raid against the Sayed Abad District of the Wardak Province overnight, killing four people, and detonating a pile of arms in an explosion that damaged a mosque in the area. An Afghan soldier was also reported slain.

A second explosion was reported about 90 minutes later at the same mosque, while civilians were recovering bodies from the rubble, and that explosion killed at least seven more civilians.

NATO denied having anything to do with the secondary explosion, and insisted everyone they killed died of “small arms fire.” Locals say that attack helicopters were involved in the raid and the Taliban claimed NATO launched missiles at the mosque during the fighting.

Provincial officials say they weren’t clear what caused the secondary explosion, but noted that some of the slain were wearing explosive vests, saying they assume one may have detonated at random during the rescue operations.

Civilians in the area protested against the night raid, displaying the bodies of civilians slain in the incident. NATO promised an “investigation” and insisted they were familiar with the reports of civilian deaths.

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