Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:34 pm (KSA) 09:34 am (GMT)

NATO, US deny role in civilan deaths in Kabul

500 civilians have been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces this year
500 civilians have been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces this year

NATO- and U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan denied Tuesday any involvement in a weekend raid that Afghans alleged was conducted by foreign forces and which resulted in the death of four civilians in Kabul.

Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the killing of two boys, a man and a woman in an early morning incursion into a village on the eastern outskirts of the capital for which they blamed international soldiers.

Residents said U.S.-led troops carried out a pre-dawn raid in Hud Kheil area in the eastern quarter of Kabul, killing Noorullah and two of his sons, one of whom was eight months old.

"It was past one o'clock when the troops came and surrounded our houses," said Sulaiman, a resident. "They threw hand grenades on one house and killed three family members," he said. Noorullah's wife was wounded, he said.

The incident comes a week after a U.S.-led coalition air strike killed 90 civilians, including 30 children, in western Afghanistan's Herat province, according to United Nations and local investigators.

Official response

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which leads most of the 70,000 foreign troops here, said no NATO- or U.S.-led forces were involved in the raid.

"After an extensive investigation, ISAF reports that neither it nor the U.S.-led coalition's forces were conducting any offensive operations in Kabul on the evening of August 31," the force said in a statement.

Lieutenant Nathan Perry, a spokesman for the separate U.S.-led force also denied involvement in the raid which took place in Hood Khail village.

"I can confirm that we had no participation in any way in that incident," he told AFP.

"No U.S. involvement at all," the spokesman said, after being asked if any other forces might have been involved, such as U.S. Special Forces which are said to operate independently of other troops.

The deaths were heavily criticized by U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai, who asked for a review of rules regulating the international military deployment in the country after that incident.

More than 500 civilians have been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces against the militants so far this year, according to the Afghan government and some aid groups.

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