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.
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT)
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories