Afghanistan — Innocent Civilian Killed in Afghanistan Operation

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2011 — Com­bined forces mis­tak­en­ly shot and killed a young Afghan girl yes­ter­day dur­ing a shootout with sus­pect­ed Tal­iban forces in the Surkh Rod dis­trict of Afghanistan’s Nan­garhar province, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Troops were search­ing for a Tal­iban leader who they believe is plan­ning a future attack in the dis­trict when an insur­gent opened fire on the troops. Forces returned fire and killed the insur­gent. The young girl was killed soon after when she attempt­ed to run out the back entrance of the com­pound. Troops report­ed that they thought she was car­ry­ing a weapon, offi­cials said. 

“We are deeply sor­ry for this tragedy and apol­o­gize to the mem­bers of the Afghan gov­ern­ment, the peo­ple of Afghanistan and, most impor­tant­ly, the sur­viv­ing fam­i­ly mem­bers of those killed by our actions,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Hal Pittman, a spokesman for NATO’s Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force. 

“We under­stand any civil­ian loss of life is detri­men­tal to our cause and to our efforts to secure the pop­u­la­tion,” the admi­ral added. 

The inci­dent is under inves­ti­ga­tion, Pittman said. 

In oth­er oper­a­tions yes­ter­day in Afghanistan: 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces cap­tured a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work weapons traf­fick­er and sev­er­al of his asso­ciates dur­ing a clear­ing oper­a­tion in Khost province’s Shamul dis­trict. Troops also killed an armed insur­gent dur­ing the operation. 

— Secu­ri­ty forces in Kan­da­har province’s Pan­jwai dis­trict detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while search­ing for a Tal­iban leader linked to ter­ror­ist oper­a­tions and bomb mak­ers in a near­by village. 

— In Khost province’s Sabari dis­trict, troops detained a Haqqani net­work ter­ror­ist and sev­er­al oth­ers con­nect­ed to bomb­ings through­out the area. 

— Forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents linked to a Haqqani net­work weapons traf­fick­er in Khost province’s Shamul district. 

— Com­bined forces in Log­ar province’s Charkh dis­trict detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while search­ing for a Tal­iban leader respon­si­ble for coor­di­nat­ing and lead­ing attacks on secu­ri­ty forces in the area. 

— In War­dak province’s Chak dis­trict, troops detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents con­nect­ed to a senior Tal­iban leader. The leader is respon­si­ble for kid­nap­pings and attacks in the district. 

— Afghan and coali­tion forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents while search­ing for a Tal­iban leader who com­mands at least 10 fight­ers in Badghis province’s Murghab district. 

— Secu­ri­ty forces in Kan­da­har province’s Gorak dis­trict detained a sus­pect­ed insur­gent and found 3,307 pounds of ammo­ni­um chlo­ride, which is used to make explo­sive devices. 

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

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