Anger is mounting in Afghanistan after the Australian Defence Force kill five Afghan children during a raid on Thursday.
“AFGHAN authorities have condemned the killing of civilians – including five children – in a raid by Australian troops.
Civilian casualties have led to growing complaints by Afghan officials and human rights groups, who warn they are fuelling local anger and resentment.
The latest killings come just a month after reports that up to 11 Afghan civilians were killed when they were caught up in battles between Taliban insurgents and Australian forces.
The Australian Defence Force announced on Friday that five children were killed when special forces troops returned fire after coming under attack from Taliban insurgents during an early morning raid on Thursday.
The ADF, which is investigating the incident, said the troops acted within rules of engagement that aim to avoid civilian casualties. One insurgent was killed, and two children and two adults were wounded, it said.
In criticising the raid, the Afghan Defence Ministry and the local governor gave conflicting casualty figures. “The Defence Ministry condemns the martyring of one woman and two children and the wounding of eight others … in an operation by international forces,” the ministry said in a statement.”