Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nicaragua Delegation Presentation - March 27 & 29/"NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills 7 Civilians, Including 3 Children"

On Sun, Mar. 27 beginning at 5:30 PM, hear the stories and see the photos by four Baltimoreans who recently went to Nicaragua and San Juan de Limay.  The Nicaragua Delegation Presentation is being held at St. John’s Church, 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218.  At 6 PM, there will be a potluck dinner and fellowship – please bring food to share.  Freewill donations will be accepted, and Nicaraguan crafts & clothing will be on sale.  Contact Casa Baltimore/Limay, a friendship-city program linking the Baltimore region with San Juan de Limay, Nicaragua, for over 25 years, at 410-662-6292 or  If you are unable to attend on Sunday, you have a second chance on Tues., Mar. 29 at 7:30 PM at Loyola University Maryland, Andrew White Building, 4th Floor Programming Room.

"NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills 7 Civilians, Including 3 Children"

by: Ray Rivera, The New York Times News Service | Report

Kabul, Afghanistan - A NATO airstrike targeting Taliban fighters Friday accidentally killed seven civilians, including three children, in the southern province of Helmand, one of the most insecure regions in the country, Afghan officials said. NATO officials are investigating the episode. It occurred in the Now Zad district when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force called in an airstrike on two vehicles believed to be carrying a Taliban leader and his associates. A NATO team assessing the damage discovered the civilians after the airstrike. NATO officials have not disclosed how many civilians were killed and wounded, and did not say whether suspected Taliban were among the casualties.

Afghan officials in Helmand said the dead included two men, two women and three children. Three more children and two adults were wounded, the Helmand governor’s office said in a statement late Saturday.

Civilian casualties have been one of the most contentious issues in Afghanistan, exacerbating tensions in the delicate relationship between international forces and President Hamid Karzai. Mr. Karzai raised the issue again in a speech on Tuesday, listing the reduction of civilian deaths as an issue that must be addressed as Afghan forces begin taking over responsibility for security in some areas of the country this summer.

NATO officials offered only minimal details about the episode Saturday as they investigated. And local authorities in the province were either unreachable or were unaware of the attack because cellphone service has been out in the entire province for much of the last week on orders of the Taliban.

The cellphone disruption has caused chaos for business owners and residents in the province. With a dearth of reliable landlines, the province, like most of the country, has come to rely on mobile networks in recent years.

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Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor, who was in Kandahar on business, said by telephone that he had not been able to get information on the civilian deaths because of the cellphone cutoff.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened in Now Zad district,” he said. He added that the government was trying to get satellite phones to district centers across the province to improve intergovernmental communications.

A United Nations report this month said that 2,777 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2010, the deadliest toll in more than nine years of war. The Taliban were blamed for 75 percent of the deaths. The number of deaths by NATO forces declined 26 percent. But a number of high-profile episodes have led to continuing strains between NATO and the Afghan government.

This month alone, NATO airstrikes killed two children, brothers, as they tended their family’s fields, and an additional nine boys as they were collecting firewood.

Both episodes happened in the eastern province of Kunar and are under investigation. In another episode this month, a cousin of Mr. Karzai was killed in a NATO-led night raid in Kandahar Province.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomb attempt targeting a border police official in Kandahar Province on Friday left one child dead and four others wounded, local authorities there said. The attacker survived and was being treated at a hospital.

Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting.

This article "NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills 7 Civilians, Including 3 Children" originally appeared at The New York Times.

© 2011 The New York Times Company

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1 comment:

Prasad said...

I don't know when will end the war on terrorists in Afghanistan. I think this war on terrorists in Afghanistan will continue at least for a couple of years so people shouldn't be killed during this strike against terrorists. Neighboring countries also are suffering with this war against terrorist. Taliban should think on this situation and they should be come for negotiations with the NATO.All the world looking for peace in Afghanistan.