February 15th, 2010
01:45 PM ET

5 Afghan civilians killed in separate NATO airstrike

KABUL, Afghanistan - An airstrike by NATO forces accidentally killed five Afghan civilians and wounded two Monday in Afghanistan, the military said. The incident was not part of Operation Moshtarak, the major push under way in Helmand province. Monday's air strike by NATO's International Security Assistance Force took place in the Zhari district of Kandahar province. A joint Afghan-ISAF patrol observed a group of people "digging along a path, and believed that the individuals were emplacing an IED (improvised explosive device)," ISAF said in a written statement.

"The joint patrol called for an airstrike. Following the strike, the Afghan-ISAF patrol approached the scene and determined the individuals had not been emplacing an IED. The joint patrol provided immediate first aid, and the wounded were flown to an ISAF medical facility for treatment."

"We regret this tragic accident and offer our sympathies to the families of those killed and injured," Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, ISAF Joint Command deputy chief of staff, said in the statement. "Our combined forces take every precaution to minimize civilian casualties, and we will investigate this incident to determine how this happened."

ISAF leaders met with village elders "to discuss how to minimize future accidents, and the families will be offered compensation according to local customs," the statement said.

Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. blunt

    Awesome job on this post.

    May 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. S.D.F.

    Why is it that the military always looses sight of the fact that this is a military operation? While tragic I'd rather this happen than lose one American life to a possible IED. Its no wonder why everyone is so jumpy about IED em placers when the vast majority of our casualties a result of detonations. The whole country is a virtual mine field.

    February 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A. Smith, Oregon

    While such tragic outcomes cannot be entirely removed from a battle zone, advance teams and leaflets explaining to the Afghanistan villagers to flee, and for those that stay to remain in their homes and do not do anything that could possibly be considered engaging in hostile acts should be underscored time and time again.

    Villagers that crassly ignore all of these efforts and warnings are going to be in the crosshairs no matter what precautions take place, however there is plenty in this article to suggest those specific villagers 'never got the memo'.

    February 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |