Taliban Fighters Killed in Airstrike
By GRAHAM BOWLEY
Published: August 18, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan — A coalition airstrike killed more than 20 Taliban
insurgents after they had gathered to oversee a public execution in northeastern Afghanistan on Saturday, Afghan officials said.
Some Afghan officials in Kunar Province, where the attack took place, put the death toll much higher, at 40 to 50. NATO said only that “at least two dozen” insurgents were killed after a joint Afghan-NATO ground operation observed a large gathering of armed men and called in an airstrike.
After the attack, Afghan and NATO officials inspected the site and said no civilians were killed by the bombing, the coalition said.
The bombing took place in the Chapa Dara district of Kunar Province, a remote area close to the border with Pakistan. According to locals and Najibullah, the police chief of the Chapa Dara district, who like many Afghans uses only one name, the insurgents had gathered after a quarrel between two families resulted in the death of one person. The victim’s relatives surrounded those they said were responsible for the death and called in the Taliban to administer justice, local residents and officials said.
The Taliban planned to punish the offenders, Mr. Najibullah said.