17 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-401

ISAF accidentally kills four civilians and wounds three during engagement with Insurgents

KABUL, Afghanistan - An ISAF unit on a mission to deny an insurgent safe haven has accidentally killed four civilians and wounded three others who were located inside a compound.

The incident occurred on the morning of August 16 in the Sangin district of Helmand province when the ISAF patrol picked up a radio message from a known compound calling for insurgents to converge on the area to attack the patrol.  The patrol identified insurgents with weapons on the roof of the compound preparing to attack and in order to protect themselves launched three rockets all of which hit the target.  Unbeknown to the patrol, the civilians were inside the compound at the time.

The casualties were treated at a nearby ISAF medical facility where two of them, children, remain seriously ill.

ISAF deeply regrets the tragedy of this incident when women and children were killed and injured as a result of an imminent insurgent attack from a position where they would have known women and children were present. The enemies of Afghanistan have yet again shown a complete disregard for the lives of the innocent who they claim to fight for.

An investigation as to the exact circumstances of this tragic event is now underway. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

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/