Taliban civilian casualty claims wrong

Release No: UNRELEASED March 18, 2008 PRINT | E-MAIL

KABUL, Afghanistan (Mar. 18, 2008) – An Afghan media outlet today published false claims by the Taliban that civilian casualties had been caused by International Security Assistance Force troops in the Malmun area of southern Afghanistan.

To the credit of the media organization, it also quoted the commander of police in Helmand, Maj-Gen Mohammad Hosayn Andiwal, who said he had no information regarding the incident and told AIP, "I have no information about this."

ISAF treats all such allegations seriously and has conducted a thorough investigation into the claim by the Taliban.

ISAF did engage three vehicles 2.5 Km south of the village of Malmun Cheena. The vehicles were positively identified carrying insurgents armed with AK-47 rifles, which fired upon ISAF on Monday afternoon. ISAF positively confirmed one vehicle was destroyed and an estimated 12 insurgents killed. The air attack took place in an isolated area where there was no housing or civilian activity. There was no evidence of civilian casualties, which would have been clearly seen by ISAF, and there have been no reports by hospitals in the region of any injuries, or requests for medical aid received.

Once again, there is no evidence to support the Taliban’s allegations.

ISAF goes to great lengths to prevent civilian casualties, unlike the Taliban, who have no apparent regard for neither human life nor the truth.

Issued by Headquarters ISAF Public Affairs Office ? E-mail: pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.intTelephone: 00 93 (0) 799 51 1155 ? Mobile: 00 93 (0) 799 55 8291 ? Website: http://www.nato.int/isaf