14 Feb 2007

PR# 2007-103

ISAF refutes allegation of civilian casualties

KABUL, Afghanistan - At approximately 3:20 a.m. today, ISAF forces struck a single building in an assessed Taliban compound in Helmand province. Precision, laser-guided munitions impacted on target, exactly as planned, and resulted in the death of a confirmed extremist leader and several of his associates.

There was no appreciable damage to other buildings in the compound and there is no evidence to support recent allegations in the media that non-combatants were killed in this attack.

ISAF forces continuously observed the compound for a considerable period of time before and after the attack. During the period prior to the attack, assessed enemy forces were observed engaging in activities that are indicative of Taliban extremist routine.

Following the attack, ISAF clearly observed Taliban extremists removing the bodies of 11 fighting-age males from the remains of the building. No women or children were observed.

“ISAF takes allegations of civilian casualties very seriously and we do everything in our power to prevent them. But in this morning’s attack, we remain confident that only enemy forces were killed, said Col. Tom Collins, the ISAF spokesperson.

“It is a well-known enemy tactic to try to blame civilian casualties on ISAF forces,” he said.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/