US kills 12 children in retaliatory airstrike
Published 30/05/2011 | 05:00
A NATO airstrike targeting insurgents hit two civilian homes in Afghanistan, killing 12 children, two women and two men.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed American troops for airstrikes in the volatile Helmand province. The airstrike was launched on Saturday night in retaliation for an attack earlier in the day on a US marine base in Helmand's northwest district of Nawzad.
NATO spokesman Major Tim James said a joint coalition and Afghan delegation was travelling to the site to investigate.
Civilian deaths are a constant source of tension between NATO and Afghan officials.
Mr Karzai has repeatedly called on coalition forces to minimise night raids and airstrikes and clear operations with his forces.