Afghan President Hamid Karzai has cut short his high profile visit to China today and is returning home following the news that NATO killed 18 civilians in an air strike in the Logar Province yesterday.
“A Nato air strike in which civilian lives are lost and property damaged does not have any justification. It is not acceptable,” insisted Karzai. NATO insisted that everyone killed was a “militant,” but the dead include women and children as the bombardment destroyed several homes.
The exact details of the attack are unclear. NATO says that troops were attacked by militants in the village, and attacked them. Provincial police said that between six and eight militants were killed in addition to the civilians.
Even with militants among the slain, this is bound to renew the ongoing debate between NATO and the Karzai government about the occupation forces launching air strikes against areas in which civilians are present. NATO has insisted in the past that the strikes would continue, but another embarrassingly large death toll will leave them with more damage control to perform in continuing their official narrative that they are “careful” about these strikes.