8 members of same Afghan family killed by NATO air strike
A Nato air strike has killed eight members of a family in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia, local officials say.
A provincial spokesman said a couple and their six children died in an air strike on Saturday in the village of Suri Khail, Gurda Saria district.
Nato says it is investigating the reports.
Earlier, the alliance said four of its soldiers had died in separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Saturday.
‘No Taliban link’
Paktia provincial spokesman Rohullah Samoon told AFP news agency: “It was an air strike conducted by Nato.
“This man [the father] had no connection to the Taliban or any other terrorist group.”
Nato spokesman Lt Col Jimmie Cummings acknowledged that coalition forces had been conducting an operation in Paktia province “against a large number of insurgents” on Saturday night.
He said the alliance was aware of the reports of civilian deaths and was investigating them.
The BBC’s Bilal Sarwary says the restive Gurda Saria district is the ancestral home of the Haqqani network.
This is a Pakistani-based group with ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Nato did not give details of the deaths of its four service members on Saturday, nor reveal the nationalities of the victims.
However, the UK’s defence ministry confirmed to the BBC that they included a British soldier whose death was confirmed on Saturday.
The soldier, from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, had been on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand province when his vehicle was hit by a bomb.
Earlier this month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned that civilian casualties caused by Nato could undermine the strategic partnership agreement he had just signed with the US.
The 10-year accord outlines military and civil ties between the countries after the end of Nato’s mission in Afghanistan in 2014.