23 Jun 2007

PR# 2007-464

Bermel investigation says civilians among dead

KABUL, Afghanistan – Follow-up investigation of an incident earlier today in Bermel district, Paktika province, offers evidence that civilian casualties were among those killed.

“Subsequent to our initial reports, a joint Afghanistan, Pakistan and ISAF investigation gives us reason to believe there may have been a number of civilians near the insurgents who were killed in the border incident,” said Maj. John Thomas, ISAF spokesman.  “We regret the loss of innocent life and our prayers are with the families of those who died.”

ISAF and Afghan National Security Forces today had tracked and engaged a large number of insurgents who were firing weapons and preparing to conduct an assault of border area operating bases.  ISAF artillery and aircraft then returned fire against those insurgents. Many of the insurgents were killed.

“It seems now that some of the activity took place just over the border in Pakistan,” Thomas said.

A joint investigation into the incident will continue and will be discussed in the Tripartite Commission process as soon as is practical, officials 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/