Karzai to open investigation into NATO civilian killings

AFP , Thursday 2 Dec 2010

The Afghan president has decided to open an investigation into the killing of a former senior official by NATO forces

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, 23 Nov. 2010. (AP)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has opened an investigation Thursday into the killing by NATO forces of a former governor in southern Afghanistan, his office said.

According to Karzai's office, troops broke into the house of Haji Ibrahim, a former district governor in the southern province of Helmand, earlier this week, killing him and arresting six members of his family.

Gulab Mangal, the Helmand governor, told Karzai that preliminary investigations had revealed Ibrahim was innocent, the president's office said in a statement.

Six members of Ibrahim's family who also appeared to be "innocent" were detained, the statement said.

Karzai has ordered Mangal to open an investigation into the killing, the statement added.

NATO's International Security Assistance force (ISAF) confirmed it carried out a raid but said it had killed an "insurgent."

"As the security force began to search the compound, an insurgent attempted to engage the force with a grenade and was killed," said an ISAF statement Monday.

"During the search of the compound, the security force found several men who were suspected to be insurgents. Also found in the compound were IED components and explosive detonators," it added.

ISAF did not comment on Karzai's statement.

On the ground, three NATO soldiers were killed in the tumultuous southern and eastern region of Afghanistan, ISAF said Thursday.

One soldier died in the militants' southern heartland on Wednesday, and the second in the east on Thursday, both as the result of home-made roadside bomb blasts, ISAF said in separate statements.

A third soldier died Thursday following an "insurgent attack" in the south, the alliance said. NATO does not release the nationalities of its casualties as a matter of policy.

The latest deaths pushed the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year to 674.

The US-led ISAF force, currently numbering around 150,000 and based in Afghanistan to defeat a Taliban-led insurgency is usually accused of killing civilians during operations against militants.


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