U.N. condemns attack on Afghan civilians
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials released harrowing new details on Thursday about an attack in a western province where assailants shot everyone in their path, sending terrified people jumping from windows trying to escape the assailants who killed at least 46 civilians and security forces.
Civilians have frequently been caught up in the fighting between militants and Afghan and U.S.-led combat forces, but the U.N. condemned the attack on Wednesday, saying civilians were deliberately targeted at the courthouse and other government offices in Farah province. Two judges, six prosecutors, administration officers and cleaners working at the site were among the dead, the U.N. said.
Meanwhile, NATO reported that an American F-16 fighter jet had crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing the U.S. pilot. The U.S.-led military coalition did not release further details about the crash.
“While the cause of the crash is under investigation, initial reporting indicates there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash,” the coalition said in a statement.
Illustrating other dangers, an airstrike by U.S.-led forces mistakenly killed four policemen and two brothers as their car was being searched at a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan, an Afghan official said.
The strike occurred in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, according to district chief Fazel Ahmad Toolwak. He said NATO troops were fighting Taliban militants about six miles away, but those killed in the strike were not involved in that battle.
A NATO spokesman, U.S. Army Maj. Adam Wojack, said the international military coalition was looking into the report, adding it “takes all allegations of this type seriously.”
According to a recent U.N. report, 2,754 Afghan civilians were killed last year — down 12 percent from 3,131 killed in 2011.
But the number killed in the second half of last year rose, suggesting that Afghanistan is likely to face continued violence as the Taliban and other militants fight for control of the country as foreign forces continue their withdrawal.
The U.N. said the Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for 81 percent of the civilian deaths and injuries last year, while 8 percent were attributed to pro-government forces. The remaining civilian deaths and injuries could not be attributed to either side.
The number of casualties blamed on U.S. and allied forces decreased by 46 percent, with 316 killed and 271 wounded last year. Most were killed in U.S. and NATO airstrikes, although that number, too, dropped by nearly half last year to 126, including 51 children.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pope pleads for peace, end to starvation, help for needy
- First lady’s absence from trip unsettles Japan
- Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
- Ex-army chief, leftist to seek Egyptian presidency
- Yemen: Airstrike targets al-Qaida training camps
- Abdullah widens lead in Afghan vote tally
- On Easter, Syria’s President Assad visits Christian town recaptured from rebels
- Radio transcript reveals South Korean ferry crew wavered on evacuation
- Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for shootout in east
- In Egypt, government watchdog Genena hit by backlash in uncovering corruption