- Feb 12, 2007
Afghan Civilians Killed In Nato Airstrike
At least 21 civilians have been killed by a Nato airstrike in southern Afghanistan, officials have said.
Nato has confirmed firing on a group of vehicles it believed contained insurgents.
The organisation says it only discovered later that women and children were on board.
It has not said how many people were killed or wounded in the incident.
The victims were in three minibuses hit by a Nato jet, as they drove along a main road in Uruzgan province.
An Afghan interior ministry spokesman said 21 were known to have died in the attack. Two more were missing and 14 were wounded.
He added there were 42 men, women and children in the vehicles, all of them civilians.
The Afghan government and Nato have both launched an investigation into the tragedy.
Nato said that its forces took the injured to nearby medical centres.
"We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives," Nato commander General Stanley McChrystal said in a statement.
"I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission."
The incident happened as Nato continued Operation Moshtarak, its major offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province, south of Uruzgan.