JALALABAD, July 6: Nearly two dozen people were killed in an air strike by the US-led coalition forces on a wedding party in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Sunday, a senior Afghan official said.

The forces insisted only militants died in the attack and Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation into the matter.

Witnesses who brought the victims to hospital in Jalalabad said that several people were killed and wounded in the strike.

The allegations could not be independently verified as the area, the Deh Bala district along the border with Pakistan, is remote and difficult to access.

Deh Bala governor Hamisha Gul said 22 people were killed on Sunday and several others wounded when the air strike hit people gathered for a wedding.

“I confirm that 22 people, three of them men and 19 of them women and children, were killed,” he said. Gul said his information came from police and other officials he had dispatched to the area to investigate.

About 70 people, mostly women, were escorting a bride to meet her groom in traditional Afghan fashion, said a man from the area who gave his name only as Kerate.

“We were bombed. I couldn’t figure out what had happened and I went unconscious. When I woke up, I saw lots of people killed and injured,” he said at the hospital in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

“After the bombing, I saw several people wounded and killed,” said another man, who gave his name as Awrang.

“I picked up some of the wounded and brought them here. I learnt later that my wife, my daughter and my sisters were killed.”

The US-led coalition rejected the allegations. “It was not a wedding party, there were no women or children present. We have no reports of civilian casualties,” coalition media officer Captain Christian Patterson said.

Karzai ordered the Afghan Defence and Interior Ministries and a body that oversees local government to investigate, a statement from the presidential palace said.

“President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly emphasised the (need for) coordination of military operations and has been deeply saddened since learning about this incident,” it said.

—Agencies

More From This Section

Decision to give peace another chance

Govt, military discuss ending of ceasefire by TTP at security committee meeting

Former secretary to head Wapda

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The government has decided to bring in a new chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority...

Army to provide security to polio teams

ISLAMABAD: In view of violent attacks on polio vaccinators across the country, the army has been asked to assist the...

Four bidders for 3G, 4G licences

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has unveiled the names of the four cellular service...


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Cartoons
E-PAPER
Front Page