In Afghanistan, air strikes by foreign-led forces are reported to have left twenty-five civilians dead including women and children in a bid to oust Taliban fighters from a village in Helmand province. Eye witnesses say heavy aerial bombing targeted an area near the village of Gereshk in the province after troops from the NATO led force known as ISAF came under fire.
Major John Thomas of the International Security Assistance force said: “Our initial indications were that there were about 30 insurgent fighters in the compound that we fired upon, if there were any civilians in the compound we regret the loss of life or injury, but we don’t have a number of how many civilians there might be and we are trying to assess how civilians may have been killed, if they were, because at this point we have no indication how they may have died.”
If confirmed the casualties would bring the number of civilians killed in NATO or US-led military operations this year to 177.
Recently the country’s President Hamid Karzai said that while his people were grateful for the foreign military presence, the mounting civilian deaths had to stop.