By: Sally Sara
April 10, 2011
Afghan president Hamid Karzai has condemned the killing of five civilians during a raid by NATO forces.
An Afghan government investigation has found the five civilians were killed in an offensive by coalition troops in the northern province of Sari Pul on Monday.
The local provincial governor said at the time that those killed were civilians, but the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said they were insurgents.
The Afghan president then ordered an investigation by provincial officials.Mr Karzai says killing civilians does not help the fight against terrorism, but hinders it.
“The findings of this delegation, which is based on meetings with villagers and statements by eyewitness says that five civilians were killed,” he said in a statement.
“The president of Afghanistan… strongly condemns the killing of civilians in this operation and emphasises once again that killing civilians will not help the fight against terrorism but will hinder it.”
A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it could not immediately comment on the findings.
The issue of civilian casualties has added to the tension between the Afghan government and coalition forces.
More than 2,000 civilians were killed by insurgents, Afghan and international troops last year.
There are around 130,000 foreign troops, two-thirds of them American, deployed in Afghanistan to help Kabul fight the Taliban and other insurgents.