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Nato accidentally kills Hamid Karzai cousin

A cousin of Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has been accidentally killed by Nato soldiers in southern Afghanistan, officials reported. Yar Muhammad Khan was shot dead during an overnight raid while at home in Dand district (near Kandahar city). Nato is reportedly probing the incident.

Last week, scores of Afghans had taken over the streets of Kabul to protest against civilian deaths caused by foreign forces. Ahmad Wali Karzai, who heads Kandahar’s provincial council and is also President Karzai’s brother, has said that there were operations occurring near Mr Khan’s home, adding that he was killed on accident and not a target. The incident comes a few days after President Karzai condemned US-led forces for the recent killing of nine innocent boys at the hands of US forces in Kunar province.

Yar Muhammad Khan was not likely a close relative of the Afghan leader, but he is described by several sources as the president’s cousin and his father’s cousin. But President Karzai’s spokesman stated that the president personally knew the man from their home village. He added that the Afghan leader was “extremely sad”, just as he gets sad about any incident that claims the life of innocent Afghans. Last year, the amount of civilian casualties in Afghanistan reached an all-time high. Over 2,700 civilians were accidentally killed in 2010, which was a 15% rise from the previous year.

A United Nations report on civilian casualties stated that Taliban forces were responsible for 3/4 of all deaths. The people killed by Nato and local Afghan forces decreased, comprising 16% of civilian deaths. However, it has been criticised that public anger about the deaths of the nine Kunar boys indicates that the killing of Afghans by foreigners incites even greater outrage than Taliban killings.



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