An airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition killed at least 11 civilians and wounded another 12 others in a remote district of eastern Afghanistan, local Afghan officials said Wednesday.
However, the International Security Assistance Force denied that civilians were killed in the attack, saying in a statement that a coalition strike Tuesday on Dangam village “resulted in the death of one armed enemy combatant.”
Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for the Afghan presidential palace, confirmed the Afghan account of the casualty toll and said it included women and children. President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation into the airstrike.
Hospital officials in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar province, said their facility admitted eight injured people for treatment. Dr. Farooq Sahak, the hospital director, said the wounded included three women, three men and two teenagers, and that one of the men later died.
Reports of civilian casualties by foreign forces have been one of Karzai’s main objections to signing a bilateral security agreement with the United States that would allow American forces to remain in Afghanistan when the coalition withdraws at year’s end.
Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the two candidates in Afghanistan’s disputed election to chose Karzai’s successor, have said they will sign the pact.
Latifi is a special correspondent.