NATO has promised an investigation after an air strike earlier today in the Khost Province killed six members of a local security force. The six were said to be members of a local militia that wasn’t directly under the command of the Afghan government.
But the killing did spark significant protests in nearby villages, as locals chanted “Death to America” in a procession that carried the bodies to the home of the Khost Provincial Deputy Police Chief, Youqib Khan.
According to Khan, NATO had initially defended the attack, saying the militia members fired on them first, before promising the investigation. He insisted the district police had no information, beyond confirming that the people killed were linked to the security force.
The killings come at a particularly inopportune time, as NATO is already under scrutiny for attacking and killing three members of Pakistan’s security forces just across the border. NATO apologized in this case, but it came after several days of publicly defending the killings as “self defense.”