NATO airstrike kills 10 civilians, Afghan official says
February 14, 2013 -- Updated 0057 GMT (0857 HKT)
- Five women and four children are among the 10 civilians killed, Kunar province governor says
- The strike also killed three Taliban commanders who were targets, an official says
- NATO says it is investigating
- Civilian deaths have long been a point of contention between Kabul and Washington
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan late Tuesday killed 10 civilians, including children, an Afghan government official said.
The strike succeeded in killing three Taliban commanders who were targets of the attack, said Wasifullah Wasifi, a spokesman for the governor of Kunar province. But it also claimed civilian lives, he said.
The 10 civilians killed included five women and four children, Kunar province Gov. Fazelullah Wahidi said.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said it was looking into the allegations.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been at loggerheads with Washington over civilian casualties for years, saying the killings show a lack of respect for his country's sovereignty.
In June, ISAF Commander Gen. John Allen traveled to the site of an airstrike that killed 18 people to personally apologize.
While militant attacks have caused by far the greatest number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, many Afghans and coalition members have expressed concern about civilian deaths caused by air operations.
The number of civilian casualties dropped in 2012, compared with the previous year, according to the United Nations. Improvised explosive devices accounted for 33% of civilian deaths that year, according to a report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service.
The United States will draw down 34,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan in a year's time, President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. The current number stands at 66,000.
By the end of 2014 -- the planned official end of the combat mission -- the White House is considering a range of troop levels for Afghanistan, from as many as 15,000 down to zero.
Afghanistan's defense department praised Obama's announcement, saying it was ready to take over responsibility for defending its own country.
Critics have expressed doubts about the Afghan military's readiness to maintain control over the Taliban.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0945 GMT (1745 HKT)
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
Gene Simmons reflects on 40 years of KISS, and how even rock royalty needs sound business principles.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0915 GMT (1715 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.