NATO denies bombing civilians in Afghanistan, conducts probe
A joint enquiry by NATO and Afghan authorities is under way into allegations of civilian casualties in southern Afghanistan, NATO said Tuesday.
The investigation into Friday's clash has not so far found evidence of any civilians killed in the incident in Helmand province, the statement said, DPA reported.
Kabul accused international forces on Monday of killing 52 civilians including woman and children in an airstrike during the clash near the village of Rigi in Sangin district.
"Any speculation at this point of an alleged civilian casualty in Rigi Village is completely unfounded," said Rear Admiral Greg Smith, communication director for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
"We are conducting a thorough joint investigation with our Afghan partners and will report any and all findings when known," he said.
The statement said that ISAF and Afghan National Army forces had been attacked with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and "responded with attack helicopters and precision-guided missiles against the insurgents."
All shots struck their intended targets, NATO said. "Coalition forces reported six insurgents killed in the strike, including a Taliban commander, a report verified by ground observation and intelligence sources," the statement said.
The joint investigation was being carried out in cooperation with the Afghan defense and interior ministries, NATO said.