Skip to main content
U.S. Edition
Search
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WORLD

Afghan offical: U.S. strike killed 17 civilians

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

Afghanistan
Military
Unrest, Conflicts and War
Kabul

(CNN) -- A U.S. air strike linked to last week's downing of a U.S. military helicopter in Afghanistan has killed 17 civilians and an unknown number of terrorists, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Kunar provincial Gov. Asadullah Wafa told news agencies that women and children were among 17 civilians killed in the airstrike.

The U.S. military in Kabul said the number of civilians and "enemy terrorists" killed was unknown.

The air strike targeted a "known operating base for terrorist attacks," according to a statement from the Coalition Press Information Center on Monday.

A "medium-level terrorist leader" used the compound as a base, the statement said, offering no further details of the Friday attack.

"Certainly loss of innocent lives is something that anyone putting together an operation tries to avoid, so loss of innocent lives is something that our forces avoid," Lt. Cindy Moore, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told CNN.

Moore also said it was common for "enemy forces" to move their families into areas where they are conducting operations, thus putting innocent civilians at risk.

Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara announced the air strike on Saturday, saying it had taken place late Friday afternoon and had been hastily arranged to hit "a target we deemed we had to hit immediately" because commanders believed that the target might leave the compound soon.

The compound was sheltering insurgents connected to last week's downing of a military helicopter as it was taking reinforcements to a team of Navy SEALs participating in Operation Red Wing against insurgents in Kunar, military officials told CNN.

The downing of the MH-47 helicopter killed all 16 service members aboard -- eight SEALs and eight Army Special Ops soldiers.

Except for one SEAL who has been rescued, the original team of SEALs has not been heard from since calling for reinforcements last Tuesday, military officials said.

Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
CNN U.S.
CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNNAvantGo Ad Info About Us Preferences
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines