July 26th, 2010
11:24 AM ET

Karzai: Helmand attack killed 52 civilians

[Update: 5:20 p.m. ET] Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Monday condemned a NATO strike in Helmand province that he said caused 52 civilian deaths.

NATO says there is no evidence of casualties beyond insurgents.

A statement from Karzai's office said Friday's attack killed people in Sangin district's Regi village. Karzai called on NATO forces to make avoiding civilian casualties in their top priorities.

A joint investigation by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and the Afghan government is underway, according to an ISAF spokesman.

"Any speculation at this point of an alleged civilian casualty in Rigi Village is completely unfounded," said Rear Adm. Greg Smith. "We are conducting a thorough joint investigation with our Afghan partners and will report any and all findings when known."

An ISAF statement said a joint operation occurred 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Rigi, and that international and Afghan forces came under attack by machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Coalition forces responded with helicopter fire and precision-guided missiles against the insurgents.

ISAF said "all fires were observed and accounted for and struck the intended target," and that six insurgents - including a Taliban commander - were killed in the strike. The information was verified by "ground observation and intelligence sources."

[Original post: 11:24 a.m. ET]

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Filed under: Helmand • Karzai
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Dust Devil

    If Karzai thinks civilians are being killed by coalition forces then those forces should be pulled out of country and then see the rise in civilian and government worker deaths. It does not seem to bother him that americans are being killed for his corupt government. VIETNAM ALL OVER AGAIN

    July 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pete Larson

    This comment is pending approval and won't be displayed until it is approved.

    I posted some preliminary statistical analysis of the Wikileaks Afghan Conflict data on my personal blog. Please take a look at it for more figures and maps from the data that you might not find elsewhere.



    July 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. USMC forever

    He is also a lying POS. I do not care any more about the civilians dying because you can no longer tell who the Taliban or terrorists are. So I like this plan, kill as many as you can and you will eventually get them all. More mussies to ALLAH for their virgin GOATS!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John W

    You guys, all of you, stop it. You're all acting like (place denigrading phrase here). First of all, I know I never changed my mind over something because someone on the internet used some insult. Second, I don't know what to think. NATO has screwed up in the past, may have here, and probably will in the future, too. I know the bombing of the Chinese Embassy is one I still cannot believe. But, I am also reminded of claims of civilians dead in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years which turned out false. I hate to use an example from Hollywood, but since most of your are addicted to TV and movies, I'll mention the Hurt Locker, the first movie I've seen in about 2 years. It reminded me how difficult it is to determine a civilian and a soldier out of uniform. Finally, this is one of the shortest news articles I've ever read that dealt with a serious attack. The fact that any of you - whichever side you take - can take what you want from it and cite any of it as proof of something simply demonstrates how trusting you are of the media. I've heard all of my 42 years not to believe everything you see on TV. I guess most of your forgot that also applies to the internet.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rgw


      July 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC Forever

      Now John come on, I told you we need to have the War paint on and show me your killer look. This is just a s**t country with a bunch of breeding rats in it that need to be put to sleep.

      July 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DC

    Karzai needs us all to stay in power. He has alot of people to please.

    July 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AMP

    Pakistan and its ISI are most dangerous elements on the earth. The only way to come out of this is to devide Pakistand in to three regions just like we did in Yugoslavia Hope the leaders of the world understand this!

    July 27, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • USMC Forever

      Nope, just tell India they can have Pakistan and all its terrorists, just need them to lob a few neutrons over the border.

      July 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |


    July 27, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe Weitzell

    I wish one of these "experts" would take the time to CLEARLY define who is, or is not, a "civilian" in Afganistan – or anywhere else for that matter. The expert could also define that magical process whereby a "civilian" (however defined) may transsubstantiate into a Taliban, or whatever, and then instantly morph back into a peaceful "civilian"
    when that becomes advantageous. Just curious.

    July 27, 2010 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Greg

    6 insurgents killed out of 52 people? Good job, murderers!

    July 27, 2010 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. 11c Infantry

    Quick! Check WIKI LEAKS for the REAL FACTS! lol

    July 27, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. hothead007

    The so called criminal was trained & armed by the American Terrorist Organisation The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to fulfill its terrorist needs & actions, As you sow so you reap, & the criminal terrorist is hiding in some very safe house in washington DC or may be in pentagon head quater, so thats why he cannot be traced

    July 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Quite right,hothead007.The C.I.A.(Criminals In Action) is a very fitting acronym.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. lodell

    Pakistan and Aghan are harbouring a criminal who killed 2000 Americans. If they want to stop collateral damage hand over Osama, the fact that they do not goes to show they could care less about their population. They treat their own people no different than we do. Their corrupt governments starve out families on a daily basis. Karzia makes these statments to get more money from America. Baby killers? These people put their women and children in harms way intentionaly, if you do not know this your are uninformed and read too much news and all tied up in liberal thoughts. Free your mind and think indepentently, talk to soldiers who have returned. Learn through facts.

    July 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Daniel-2

    Is this going to be another NATO cover up?I'm afraid it is!

    July 26, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jona

    collateral damage. We suffer from it here in America every day in our urban battlegrounds.

    July 26, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Erik

    If this leak puts one service members life in jeopardy, then it was wrong to leak this info. The person may have felt morally obligated to do so and it may have been necessary but the lives of everyone fighting over there (American, German, etc) are not worth it.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |