NATO probing claims of civilian casualties

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: NATO forces on Wednesday acknowledged civilian casualties occurred during a combined operation in the Haska Mena district of eastern Nangarhar province on January 1.

At least one civilian was killed and three women and two children were among 14 non-combatants wounded during the operation against insurgents.

On Tuesday, residents of Haska Mena demanded the government investigate civilian casualties in Monday’s operation by security forces against Daesh insurgents.

Meanwhile, a statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission said it was aware of the civilian casualties in the district.

“We are aware of reports regarding civilian casualties as a result of a combined operation in Nangarhar province on January 1,” the NATO mission said in a statement.

It quoted Tom Gresback, US Navy captain, as saying: “RS takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and is working with Afghan partners to determine the facts surrounding this incident.

“Every civilian casualty is regrettable, and we do everything we can to prevent harm to innocents on the battlefield. A formal review of the incident has been initiated.”

He said more information would be released to media as available.