Suspected NATO Airstrike Kills 8 Afghan Civilians

Posted May 27th, 2012 at 9:15 am (UTC-5)
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Officials in eastern Afghanistan say a NATO airstrike has killed a family of eight.

A government spokesman for Paktia province, Rohullah Samoon, tells VOA that a coalition airstrike late Saturday killed a man, his wife and six children in the Gerda Serai district. He said that according to his information, the man was not linked to any insurgent group or any anti-government activities.

NATO officials say they are aware of reports of the incident and are investigating.

Civilian casualties have been a major source of friction between President Hamid Karzai's government and the international coalition in Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the United Nations special representative to Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, said that civilian casualties have gone down by 20 percent in the first four months of 2012, compared to the same period last year. Kubis said insurgent attacks, including suicide bombings, cause the majority of civilian deaths.