Nato admits Afghan family killed in airstrike | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 09, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 09, 2012

Nato admits Afghan family killed in airstrike

Nato forces in Afghanistan yesterday admitted responsibility for the deaths of a civilian family of six in an airstrike in the southern province of Helmand last week.
The admission came a day after President Hamid Karzai summoned Nato's military commander and the US ambassador to warn that civilian deaths threatened the strategic pact he signed with US President Barack Obama last week.
"At this point in the investigation we are able to confirm the incident and will be formally apologising in the next couple of days to the family," a spokesman for Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told AFP.
"We are deeply saddened by any civilian deaths, and particularly regret incidents where civilians are killed as a result of actions by ISAF," said Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Upton of ISAF's southwest regional command.
The Helmand provincial governor's office said in a statement that the family was killed unintentionally in an airstrike last Friday after ISAF checkpoints came under attack by insurgents in Sangin district.
The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan's war has risen steadily each year for the past five years, reaching a record of 3,021 in 2011 -- the great majority caused by militants -- according to UN statistics.

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