Afghanistan's Karzai slams killing of 10 civilians

Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:08pm EST
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By Amin Jalali

ASADABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday condemned the killing of 10 civilians in an attack in the remote northeast on Saturday night and promised an investigation.

One of the dead was a school student, a statement from the president's office said, killed in what the police chief of Kunar province described as a "commando-style" assault on a fort where two or three families live.

But disparate reports of the deaths are emerging from the isolated, Taliban-dominated area in Narang district, near the border with Pakistan.

The governor of Kunar province said he had been told that it was an airstrike and eight of the victims were students.

"Elders of the village have told us that 10 people have been killed in this airstrike. Eight of them were school students, relatives of each other," Sayed Fazlullah Wahedi told Reuters.

Foreign coalition forces said that all the dead are insurgents, he added, without giving further details.

It is difficult to pin down details of the attack, because the area is inaccessible and hostile, Wahedi and the Kunar provincial police chief Khalilulah Ziaye said.

"Our investigation is not over yet, the area is very remote, and difficult to access for security personnel. The reports that we have received from people (residents) is that they were school students, in class 10 and 11," Ziaye said.   Continued...