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Editorial: Civilians again targeted

Once again at least 13 civilians including women and children have been killed as a result of strikes in Hisarak village of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. The targeted family is headed by a doctor, lone doctor in village Naser Khel and beside others The New York Times, quoting CIA official confirmed killing of civilians in the latest US air strikes in the area. Both the houses targeted in strike were owned by a doctor and his brother. Village elder Ruzi Khan Maruf confirmed killing of doctor, his brother and their wives and their nine children. Whereas journalist turned politician Shah Mahmood Miankhel Governor of Nangarhar claimed that a top Taliban commander was also killed in the strike but the identity of what Governor claimed Taliban top commander is yet to be made public. Even the governor is unable to give exact number of civilian casualties in the latest US air strikes. It is not first ever civilian casualties in US strikes. But the list is too long. Since 9/11 thousands of civilians have lost lives as a result of US and US led allied troops and its fellow Afghanistan security forces personnel. Former President Hamid Karzai and almost of Afghanistan top politicians, tribal chieftains and public opinion makers are showing concern and resentment over such violent occurrences, causing lives to innocent civilians. In this respect, formal protests have been lodged through its political and diplomatic representatives of United States. And the US authorities are making hallow assurances of remaining careful in future. But after receiving the protests and making assurances in response, the US high ups are known for ignorance within minutes. And on the very next days, the Afghans are getting similar civilian casualties and injuries in what the US call “air and ground strikes against the militants sheltering/camouflaging along with the civilian population. In recent occurrence, a spokesperson for the American led NATO mission in Afghanistan confirmed the airstrikes but did not directly address the reports of civilian casualties, saying only that the coalition was looking into the matter. “In self defense, precision airstrikes were used to support the troops on ground,” said spokesperson Sgt First Class Debra Richardson, adding that the Afghans had been targeting a Taliban operation center. Now when peace talks brokered by US Special Envoy is in its concluding phase, the US led troops needs to remain too much careful regarding civilian casualties. Too many doubts are being expressed about sincerity of United States and other self-made stake holders regarding return of peace and stability and ending of terror in Afghanistan, the Afghans must realise their own responsibilities. Almost of the Afghans are now making their utilization not only by two major foes but also by some of their regional and neighbouring countries in public. The war on terror is now converted into a big source of income and investment, therefore, Afghans needs to be aware of “visible and non-visible” spies who are still bent up “continuation of own battles” on the soil of Afghanistan. 

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