Family of eight killed in Afghanistan

Other News Materials 27 May 2012 19:30 (UTC +04:00)

Eight members of an Afghan family were killed in a NATO airstrike in the eastern province of Paktia, an Afghan official said Sunday, whilst four soldiers with the NATO-led coalition were killed in roadside bomb attacks, DPA reported.

"A man along with his wife and six children were killed when their house was bombed in Gard Siray district," Rohullah Samoon, spokesman for the provincial governor, told dpa.

He said it was not clear who the target of the strike.

A NATO official said they were looking into the claims of civilian casualties.

"According to our initial reports, International Security Assistance Force ground troops came under attack by a large number insurgents in the district late yesterday in Paktia province," Major Martyn Crighton, spokesman for the NATO-led forces said.

"Troops on the ground responded with gun fire and also requested and received a close air support."

Crighton said it was a joint operation along with Afghan national army unit but there no fatalities among the forces.

"At this point, ISAF officials are in the process of determining if there is any correlation between combat operation that went last night and claims of civilian casualties," Crighton said.

"We try to avoid any harm to Afghan civilians and damage to civilian properties in all our operations. We only engage with aircraft when insurgents are in the area," Crighton said.

Meanwhile four foreign soldiers with the NATO-led coalition were killed in separate roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military alliance said Sunday.

The attacks took place on Saturday, the coalition said. It did not identify the nationality of the deceased nor the exact location of the incidents.

In Kabul on Sunday, Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said that no tangible progress has been made peace talks with the Taliban insurgents.

"We have started the process but we have not yet entered any tangible negotiations," Rassoul told reporters.

"We know the red lines, we know to whom people we are going to talk. We are going to talk to those people who accept our constitution, who are not linked to al-Qaeda or any other terrorist groups," he said.