28 Oct 2007

PR# 2007-693

ISAF concludes investigation into civilian casualties

ISAF has concluded a thorough investigation into allegations of civilian casualties during an operation in Wardak Province on Oct. 22, and has found the allegations to be completely without merit.

“We take all allegations of injuries to Afghan civilians very seriously and have a dedicated team to ensure that a timely and thorough investigation is conducted in such cases, even if the allegations may be due to insurgent propaganda”, said Maj. Charles Anthony, ISAF Deputy Spokesman.

On the morning of Oct. 22, ISAF positively identified a large group of anti-government militants in Jalrez District setting an ambush intended for ISAF soldiers.  ISAF forces called in airstrikes on the militant positions.   Based on the stories of local villagers, a district official contacted several news media organizations the following day and stated that more than 11 civilians had been killed.  The investigation found that there was no credible information to support such claims and this was confirmed by Wardak Provincial Governor Naimi.

This is the second unsubstantiated claim concerning civilian casualties to surface from Wardak Province this month.   On Oct. 15, a police official was quoted by several media organizations as saying that three to seven civilians had been killed in an airstrike.  The officer later denied ever making such statements.

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/