September 2nd, 2010
12:31 PM ET

Official: Campaign workers killed in NATO airstrike

Ten parliamentary campaign workers were killed in a NATO airstrike in northeastern Afghanistan on Thursday, a provincial official said.

The incident - which took place ahead of the September 18 parliamentary election - occurred in the Rostaq district of Takhar province, where NATO says it was targeting a militant.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has consistently deplored civilian casualties in the war, condemned the strike, which occurred on the same day he's scheduled to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Faiz Mohammad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the event happened because NATO-led and Afghan security forces are not coordinating their activities properly.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force told CNN it is "still looking into this situation" and "gathering the facts."

"We're aware of the allegations that this strike caused civilian causalities and we'll do our best to get to the bottom of the accusations," U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Garza, an ISAF official, said in a press release.

"What I can say is these vehicles were nowhere near a populated area and we're confident this strike hit only the targeted vehicle after days of tracking the occupants' activity."

Along with the deaths, candidate Abdul Wahid Khorazani and another campaign worker were injured, Mohammad said. He said the civilians were campaigning for Khorazani at the time.

ISAF said it carried out "a precision airstrike targeting an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan senior member," determined to be the deputy shadow governor for Takhar.

"Intelligence tracked the insurgents traveling in a sedan on a series of remote roads in Rustaq district. After careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft conducted a precision airstrike on one sedan and later followed with direct fire from an aerial platform. The vehicle was traveling as part of a six-car convoy, but no other vehicles were hit in the strike," the military said.

ISAF wasn't able to get a ground force to the region right away, but "initial reflections indicate eight to 12 insurgents were killed or injured in the strike, including a Taliban commander."

CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report

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Filed under: Afghanistan elections
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Marge

    Do either or any of u know why this argument started? At what point does it stop? Enough turmoil going on in this world without adding more fuel to the fire. Just my opinion and you know what the saying is about that.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Madman21904

    "Faiz Mohammad, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the event happened because NATO-led and Afghan security forces are not coordinating their activities properly."

    How many times will this happen before our leaders realize that we're being duped and manipulated? We have our own intelligence, for Pete's sake. Why do we continue relying on that of the same countries whose leaders are notorious for "winning elections" by killing their opponents??

    September 7, 2010 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. lostmind

    I do not see why everybody is so upset; they were tracked for days and watched (probably why they are dropping off ammunition and weapons), and then they got whacked. If you do the crime you got to pay the time

    September 5, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    It is most likely that these people killed in this attack did not have Afghanistan's best interest in mind or heart. They probably were in the political arena just for power and control over the people. But even so the American and NATO forces should let the Afghan people decide who they want to govern their land.

    September 3, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      But they won't!!!

      September 3, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        You got that right,Dan! Thank you.

        September 3, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mannix

    Why is it everytime there is a mistaken bomb dropped, it's a NATO bomb, when it's the US who has their finger on every trigger in the war from the air?
    I guess it's the way they can get away with it without blaming them fully.

    September 3, 2010 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Well stated,Mannix.Thank you.

      September 3, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    How is J an embarrassment to his religion? He lives his life by faith, this I would bet on.

    September 3, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. ChipH

    The 'war' (actually mercenary and usurist 'contingency action') is over in Iraq, but so-called 'Defense' (sic) just got $95
    BILLION budget increase of +14% for 2011; as a result, 100,000 American teachers will have to be laid off to pay for it.
    'Defense' (sic) is pushing up on ONE TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, with ONE QUARTER TRILLION unaccounted for, but
    the rapscallion Republicans plan to make Bush Tax Grift permanent, and eliminate capital gains and estate taxes, so the rich who have so handsomely profited off this war killing our children WON'T HAVE TO PAY ANY TAXES on the profits.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. General Dr Bad

    General Dr Bad

    Once again, "Taliban For Idiots 101".
    There are around 24 million Pastoons. I od not know or care how many Punjabis there are.
    Not all Pastoons are Taliban. Yet most all Taliban are pastoons. IN afghnaipand and they bleed over into pakiland. (where you have army base). These two here barking are one of each. Both sunni. Taliban ,Al Qaida, Sunni's.
    while the hindus and sihks and seta nd laugh and invade you.
    how do you tell a Taliban from a civilian?
    well, YOU cant.
    you only know when they are shooting at you or trying to blow you up. Inshallah.
    so what is the differance?
    teh Taliban have guns and bombs.
    how do you make a Taliban? give a civilian a gun.
    it Becomes a "taliban".
    If it has a Beard it is Taliban.
    Now these barking punjabi? gues it did not see the news yesterday.
    obama just declared him or her or it a "Terrorrist" group.
    so bark on lil punjabi.
    May God save your Troops from YOU.
    IM fine.
    Your the ones in trouble.

    September 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    September 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. General Dr Bad

    still you avoid answering even one question of mine.
    now obam usesa drones on mexico border.
    keep running cowards.
    Go Enlist.
    you are all the same.
    hindu,punjabi,americans.
    no differant.
    stupid.

    September 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Smith in Oregon

    This targeted assassination of Afghanistan officials appears to be calculated and deliberate. They likely didn't fit into the CIA plan for the Afghanistan government. The exact same thing is occurring in Pakistan where small groups of minor Taliban fighters are also targeted for assassination by drone strikes because the Pakistani ISI has determined they also didn't fit into the Pakistani plan to undermine the Afghanistan government.

    If you look at the long track record of this repeatedly occurring in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it become evident these US declared multiple mistakes are not mistakes, they are deliberate assassinations of individuals who were determined to not be a benefit to the CIA plans in Afghanistan and in Pakistan the Pakistani ISI had determined those targeted would not be a benefit to the Pakistani ISI plans in Afghanistan.

    September 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Very well stated,Smith.Thank you.

      September 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Smith in Oregon

        Mind your own business pin head.

        September 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    Why am I not surprised?If you keep on dropping bombs from a plane, any idiot knows that sooner or later you're going to kill somebody!

    September 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Dastardly villains killing civil workers instead of just handing them out their pink slips!

      September 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |