By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
NATO says bombing in Afghanistan kills 12 insurgents, denies accusations of civilian deaths
Placeholder Image
    KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO said Tuesday that it killed about 12 insurgents in an airstrike in southern Afghanistan, denying accusations from two Afghan lawmakers that civilians were among the dead.
    The lawmakers, Dad Mohammad Khan and Mir Wali Khan were in the capital, Kabul, at the time of the strike and relied on reports from local Afghans about the airstrikes on Monday in the southern Helmand province.
    NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said the only people killed were militants who had fired on alliance troops.
    ‘‘The air attack took place in an isolated area where there was no housing or civilian activity,’’ NATO said. ‘‘There was no evidence of civilian casualties, which would have been clearly seen by ISAF, and there have been no reports by hospitals in the region of any injuries, or requests for medical aid received.’’
    Insurgents and some Afghan civilians hostile to the presence of foreign troops sometimes exaggerate accounts of civilian deaths caused by international forces, or make up claims altogether. Independent verification of battlefield causalities is difficult because the areas are remote and dangerous for travel.
    Meanwhile, some of the 3,200 U.S. Marines slated for a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan’s volatile south continued arriving at the region’s largest base following a call from Canada for more troops.
    About 2,300 troops from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, began arriving in the past days at their new base in Kandahar, the Taliban’s former power base.
    Canada has 2,500 troops in Kandahar province but has threatened to end its combat role in Afghanistan unless other NATO countries provide an additional 1,000 troops to help the anti-Taliban effort there.
    NATO’s force is about 43,000-strong, but commanders have asked for more combat troops, particularly for the country’s south, where the insurgency is the most active. About 13,000 U.S. troops operate in a separate U.S.-led coalition.
    Troops from Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have done the majority of the fighting against Taliban militants. France, Spain, Germany and Italy are stationed in more peaceful parts of the country.
    Last year was Afghanistan’s most violent since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban. More than 8,000 people died in violence, the U.N. says.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter