NATO forces kill Afghan policeman, female relative in raid

Other News Materials 12 May 2011 13:34 (UTC +04:00)

NATO-led forces in Afghanistan have killed a policeman and a young woman in a raid on a suspected insurgent hideout in the east of the country, the alliance said Thursday, DPA reported.

The combined forces had surrounded a compound in Nangarhar province late Wednesday where a Taliban leader was believed to be hiding, the military said in a statement.

One man threatened the troops with a pistol in response to calls to evacuate the building, and was killed as the security forces "defended themselves," it said.

"After initial assessment, it was discovered that he was employed by the Afghan National Police," the statement said.

The troops then shot dead another person who ran out of the back of the compound apparently carrying a weapon, NATO said. "Later, the forces discovered the individual was an unarmed Afghan female adolescent," the statement said.

The mission did not find the Taliban leader it was looking for, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force told the German Press Agency dpa.

Asked whether faulty intelligence could be to blame, Major Michael Johnson said "I don't know. I am waiting for further information from the unit that conducted the operation."

Civilian casualties at the hands of international forces have been causing increasing resentment among Afghans. President Hamid Karzai has spoken out strongly against NATO raids. Earlier this year he called on the foreign forces to halt all operations in the country.

A total of 2,777 civilians were killed in the Afghan conflict last year, the bloodiest period for the population since the ouster of the Taliban nearly 10 years ago.