Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NATO Airstrike Leaves 9 Dead in Afghanistan

JABAR, Afghanistan -- A NATO airstrike destroyed a mud-brick home, killing nine people from four generations of an Afghan family during a clash between Western troops and militants, Afghan officials and relatives said Monday.

Militants fired late Sunday on a NATO base in the Kapisa province, just north of Kabul, and when fighter aircraft returned fire, they hit a civilian home, killing five adults and four children aged from 6 months to 5 years, said Gulam Nabi, a relative of the victims.

A U.S. military statement said coalition forces "dropped two [900-kilogram] bombs" on the compound after a rocket was fired at the base and armed militants were seen moving into the compound. The NATO base in Kapisa is staffed by U.S. forces and is about 80 kilometers northeast of Kabul, the capital.

"Coalition forces observed two men with AK-47s leaving the scene of the rocket attack and entering the compound," coalition spokesman Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta said. "These men knowingly endangered civilians by retreating into a populated area while conducting attacks against coalition forces."

A large mud home in a compound of five buildings was leveled.

Among those killed were Gulam Nabi's parents, his sister, his nephew, and four of the extended family's youngest children.

News of the airstrike came one day after wounded Afghans and witnesses said U.S. Marines fired on civilian cars and pedestrians after a frenzied escape from a suicide bomb and gunfire attack in eastern Afghanistan. The violence sparked angry anti-U.S. demonstrations by hundreds of Afghan men.

As many as 10 Afghans were killed and 34 injured during Sunday's violence in Nangarhar province. A delegation of Afghan officials Monday visited the site to investigate the attack.

The back-to-back incidents involving the deaths of Afghan civilians are likely to fuel further anger in a country that has seen scores of civilians killed by international forces since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pleaded repeatedly for Western troops to take care not to harm civilians. On Monday, he condemned the killings and said he had ordered an investigation and government assistance for the victims and their families.

A U.S. official said Monday that the military believed Sunday's suicide bombing was a "clearly planned, orchestrated attack" that included enemy fire on the convoy and a planned demonstration.