U.S.-led Coalition forces rebuffs airstrike inflicting civilian casualties in W Afghanistan
KABUL, July 20 (Xinhua) — The U.S.-led Coalition forces in a statement rebuffed reportedly civilian casualties resulted by Coalition airstrike in western Afghan province of Farah on Sunday.
Afghan National Security and Coalition forces used precision airstrikes to eliminate several militants in Farah province early Sunday morning, the statement said.
“The air strike was called while the militants were in an open area to prevent harm to non-combatants and civilian structures thus no civilians or Coalition forces were harmed in the engagement,” it said.
Earlier, police officer Najibullah Popal told Xinhua that air raids carried out by international troops over Saturday night had left policemen dead and injured in Farah province.
“It was late last night when air crafts of international troops mistakenly targeted a police checkpoint in Anardara district killing and wounding a number of our policemen,” a senior police officer in the province Najibullah Popal told Xinhua.
Andardara is a district close to Iran border where Taliban militants also several times in the past one year targeted government interests in parts of Farah province.
However, locals of the area put the number of the casualties as high as nine.
Meanwhile, one soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed during fighting in eastern Afghan province of Khost on Sunday, said an ISAF statement.
It is ISAF policy to not release the nationality of any casualty prior to the relevant national authority doing so.
NATO have recently enhanced its military strength in the eastern bordering provinces to curb the surge of militancy and violence there.
Militancy and conflicts have left more than 2,300 people including over 700 civilians dead since January this year in Afghanistan.