Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:10 UK

Nato 'kills Afghan MP relative' in raid

Afghans protest over the killing by Nato troops in Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan on 29/04/2010
The latest death at the hands of foreign troops sparked angry protests

A prominent Afghan MP says Nato troops stormed her home and shot dead one of her relatives in an overnight raid.

Safia Siddiqi, who was not home at the time, said soldiers tied up members of her family and fired on one of them.

Nato confirmed one person was killed in an operation against a "Taliban facilitator" in eastern Afghanistan.

Separately, France has admitted its troops accidently killed four Afghans earlier this month - adding fuel to public anger over civilian deaths.

French army spokesman Christophe Prazuck said troops had fired a missile at insurgents during fighting in eastern Kapisa province on 6 April. But the missile hit the civilians who were hiding in trees nearby who had not been seen by the soldiers, he said.

Operation 'review'

Safia Siddiqi said dozens of US soldiers arrived without warning at her village home in Nangarhar province's Surkh Rod district just before midnight.

"My brothers thought they were thieves," she told the AFP news agency. "One of my relatives took a shotgun and walked out of the room. The troops shot him dead."

She said the soldiers broke windows and furniture and tied her brothers' hands together.

"My brothers told them in English: 'Do you know whose house is this? This is the house of Safia Siddiqi, a member of the Afghan parliament'," she told AFP. "They said 'We know' and did not allow them to speak further."

In a statement, Nato confirmed international and Afghan troops had entered a compound in Surkh Rod "after intelligence information indicated militant activity".

"During the operation an individual with a weapon was observed adjacent to one of the buildings. The security force repeatedly attempted to get the individual to lower his weapon by using hand signals, and verbal commands through their Afghan interpreter," the statement said.

Angry protests

"The individual ignored the repeated commands, raised his weapon and aimed at the combined force, and then was shot and killed."

The statement concluded by saying that both Nato and Afghan forces would review the operation.


The incident sparked angry protests on Thursday, with protesters carrying the body into the streets and scores of people shouting anti-US and anti-government slogans.

The deaths of Afghan civilians at the hands of foreign forces has caused public outrage, and been an increasing source of friction between Nato and the Afghan government.

Nato has admitted that its killing of civilians during operations has undermined support for its mission in Afghanistan, although it points out that far more people are killed in attacks by the Taliban and other militants.

The head of Nato and US forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has introduced changes to Nato tactics aimed at cutting the risks to civilians. Measures have included reducing the number of air strikes and night raids.

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