KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): A mother and her two children were killed and her spouse injured during an overnight NATO airstrike in the Nader Shah Kot district of southeastern Khost province, the Presidential Palace said on Tuesday.
The incident took place in Mirkori area on Monday night, said the Khost governor’s spokesman, Mubarez Zadran, who called it a mistake. He said a NATO helicopter on a drill accidently hit a house.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement said: “We are aware of reports regarding alleged civilian casualties in Khost and are looking into these allegations.”
Zadran told Pajhwok Afghan News two children and a woman had been killed and a fourth person injured in the incident. Soon after the incident, he said, police reached the scene and launched their investigation.
But Agha Jan Tawkali, administrative chief of Nadir Shah Kot district, told Pajhwok Afghan News the attack took place in a mountain side not on a house. He said villagers were collecting firewood in the mountain when foreign troops fired at them from the air.
While police chief Brig. Gen. Faizullah Ghairat said it was not an airstrike, but an artillery fire that hit the mountain. He said two person had died in the incident.
Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the overnight NATO airstrike that his office said killed three civilians.
A statement issued from the Presidential Palace said a woman and her two children were killed and her spouse wounded in the airstrike.
President Karzai said the attack once again violated agreements between the United States and Afghanistan.
Following the incident, President Karzai telephoned Khost Governor Abdul Jabar Naeemi and directed him to investigate the incident thoroughly.
Karzai extended his sympathies to the bereaved family and wished speedy recovery of the wounded person.
The deaths come at a time when the presidential election and the security agreement between Kabul and Washington are yet to be decided.