NATO issued a statement today admitting that reports of civilians killed in an air strike against the Helmand Province of Afghanistan were true, and that at least five civilians were confirmed killed.
Though they insisted that the investigation is still ongoing, NATO conceded that there was “evidence civilians were in the compound targeted by coalition forces during the operation.” This evidence, it appears from the report, included a number of dead and wounded Afghans found inside the compound.
US Brig. Gen. Timothy M. Zadalis expressed regret at the killings, saying “our first objective is to protect the people of Afghanistan, and in this case we may have failed.” The killings were the latest in a rising number of civilian deaths in the nine year long war in Afghanistan.
Though official reports insist the Taliban is responsible for the majority of those killings, the US and its NATO allies are taking considerable blame for the rising toll, likely in no small part because high profile incidents like the one admitted to today keep happening with alarming regularity.