20 Sep 2007

PR# 2007-648

Civilian casualties during ISAF operations in southern Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan – ISAF forces are currently conducting an operation (Operation Palk Wahel) to clear the Taliban from an area in the Upper Gereshk Valley. Tragically, yesterday there were a number of civilian casualties as a result of the fighting.

On Sept. 19, troops from ISAF were engaged in fighting with the Taliban for several hours in an area north of Zumbelay.  Taliban fighters attacked ISAF from a compound and an airstrike was called in to neutralise the threat.  ISAF was unaware of civilians in the vicinity of the target and unfortunately it appears that a number of non-combatants were caught in the attack and killed. 

“We very much regret any injury or death to civilians caught up in fighting between ISAF and the Taliban,” said Wing Commander Antony McCord, Regional South spokesman.  “We take every possible precaution to avoid civilian casualties while conducting our operations and we warn people in advance about operations where possible.  We are now carrying out investigations into the incident.”

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/