News and Views
BBC: NATO Air strike kills Afghan civilians
At least 27 civilians died in a Nato air strike in southern Afghanistan, the Afghan cabinet says, revising downwards a prior statement that 33 were killed.
Nato said it hit a suspected insurgent convoy, but ground forces later found “a number of individuals killed and wounded”, including women and children.
Sunday’s attack, in Uruzgan province, was not part of a major Nato-led push in neighbouring Helmand province.
Civilian deaths in strikes have caused widespread resentment in Afghanistan.
Last year, Gen Stanley McChrystal, the Nato and US commander in Afghanistan, introduced much tougher rules of engagement in a bid to minimise such casualties.
The BBC’s Chris Morris in Kabul says three vehicles on a road were hit by the strike on Sunday morning.
A Nato statement said it was thought the convoy contained Taliban insurgents on their way to attack Afghan and foreign military forces.
But the governor of Uruzgan province told the BBC all of the dead were civilians. He said the air strike took place in an area which is under Taliban control.
One of his spokesmen, Nisar Ahmad Khetab, said more than 40 people had been travelling in three vehicles when they were attacked.
He told the BBC Pashto service a delegation of elders had been sent to the area to investigate the deaths.
The Afghan government condemned the air strike, calling it “unjustifiable” and “a major obstacle” to effective counter-terrorism efforts.
In a revised statement, putting the death toll at 27, the Afghan cabinet said four women and one child were among those killed.
The cabinet also called on Nato “to closely co-ordinate and exercise maximum care before conducting any military operation so that any possible mistakes that may result in harming civilians… can be avoided”.
Uruzgan province is where the Dutch mission to Afghanistan has been based since 2006, with nearly 2,000 service personnel.
Over the weekend, the Dutch government collapsed over disagreements in the governing coalition on extending deployments in Afghanistan beyond August this year.
Gen McChrystal has apologised to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and pledged a full investigation into the latest deaths.
The Nato commander said in a statement: “We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives.
“I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission.
“We will redouble our efforts to regain that trust.”
Our correspondent says the strike was not linked to the Nato-led Operation Moshtarak, which is continuing in Helmand province, to the south of Uruzgan.
Last week, 12 civilians died in that offensive – whose name means “together” in Dari – when ground-launched rockets hit a home.
About 15,000 Nato and Afghan troops are involved in Moshtarak, now in its second week, and the largest operation since the Taliban were overthrown in 2001.
The head of US Central Command, Gen David Petraeus, said on Sunday the operation, part of a revised strategy for combating insurgents, would probably last up to 18 months.
Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah
Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.
The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.
Please, Be Gentle With God’s Guests In Ramadan I Sh Mohammad Elshinawy
IOK Ramadan: Dunya vs Akhirah | Heart To Heart Ep. 3
Welcoming Ramadan In A New Environment – Making It Feel Like ‘Home’
The MuslimMatters Ramadan Podcast Playlist 
IOK Ramadan: The People of Taqwa | Heart to Heart Ep. 2
From The Chaplain’s Desk: Engage With The Quran
Podcast | Happily Ever After (Ep 2) – What Are The Limits Of Wifely Obedience?
Breakfast With The Khans [Act Two] – Truth & Lies
[Podcast] Man 2 Man: Why Western Academics Hate Hadith
Obedience To Parents And Its Limits
IOK Ramadan: The Virtues of Reciting the Quran | Heart to Heart Ep. 1
Domestic Violence Series: Marital Disputes, Ego, And Shame
The Kuwaiti Shaykh Who Told Me A Story
The Guards Who Became Muslim After Guantanamo
My Hardest Ramadan Ever
#Life1 week ago
Foster Love For The Blessed Month With These 5 Fun And Easy Ramadan Crafts For Kids
#Islam1 week ago
The Ramadan Of The Early Muslims
#Culture7 days ago
This Ramadan, Delete TikTok Before It Deletes You
#Islam2 weeks ago
[Podcast] Man 2 Man: Beast Mode – Spiritual Preparation For Ramadan