Afghan official says two Afghan teenagers killed by NATO airstrike

Afghan official says two Afghan teenagers killed by NATO airstrike

A NATO airstrike allegedly killed two teenagers in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, a local official said Tuesday.

The two boys, aged 10 and 17, were irrigating their fields in Sawki district on Monday night when they were hit, Abdul Marjan Adel, the district governor said, DPA reported.

"They were in 3rd and 8th grades of school," he said.

Major Michael Johnson, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said that they were aware of the allegation and were looking into the incident.

He said ISAF forces conducted an airstrike against two suspected insurgents thought to be planting roadside bomb in the district. One of the suspects was killed and the was injured, Johnson said.

Tensions over the Western airstrikes are running high, after the killing of nine children in the same province earlier this month.

Visiting Kunar on Saturday, President Hamid Karzai called on the more than 140,000 NATO and US troops stationed in the country to stop all their operations in Afghanistan, after he saw a one-year old child who had lost his leg in an airstrike.

A spokesman later said Karzai only meant to call for a halt to civilian casualties, but Kabul's resentment of the airstrikes has been clearly growing.

This month, Karzai rejected the apologies for the civilian casualties by top ISAF commander US General David Petraeus, saying it was "not enough."

With 2,777 civilian fatalities, last year was the bloodiest period for Afghans since the ouster of Taliban regime in late 2001, according to United Nations report. The Taliban insurgents were responsible for three quarters of the deaths, the report said.

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