A NATO airstrike apparently targeting Taliban commanders in an Afghan village near the border with Pakistan killed 10 civilians, including women and children, officials said Wednesday. The attack Tuesday night in the village of Chugam, in eastern Kunar province, also killed four Taliban commanders, according to Abdul Zahir, the governor of Shigal district.
Zahir said Afghan and NATO forces were conducting a ground operation in the area when insurgents opened fire on them from inside a house. The ground forces called for backup, resulting in the airstrike, he said.
The U.S-led NATO coalition said it was investigating the reports, but offered no details.
"Of course we take all reports of civilian casualties seriously, and we're assessing all the information," said Air Force Lt. Col. Les Carroll, a coalition spokesman.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the airstrike, saying in a statement that the "war on terror is not in Afghan villages and houses."
The attack is likely to add to tensions between the coalition and Karzai, who has long railed against civilian deaths from NATO strikes and has called for foreign troops to cease operations in villages.
TVNL Comment: Why are we killing these people? Someone, please remind me....