18 July 2008

PR# 2008-333

ISAF rejects Farmakan and Bakhtabad villages civilian casualty claim

KABUL, Afghanistan - ISAF has thoroughly investigated and rejects claims that ISAF forces killed more than 50 civilians in the Shindand area. The claims originated in the media from the tribal elder Haji Zalmai and District Chief Mullah Lal Muhammad who said that more than 50 civilians had reportedly been killed in the villages of Farmakan and Bakhtabad on Thursday, July 17.

Our extensive investigation reveals that the closest airstrikes carried out were 13 km to the South East of these villages.

ISAF therefore rejects these claims as baseless.

ISAF always operates giving the highest importance to protecting civilians, and deeply regrets any instances where civilians are mistakenly injured or killed.

It should never be forgotten the insurgents use indiscriminate methods which inevitably lead to deaths of many innocent Afghans.

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/