From the BBC:
‘Civilians dead’ in Nato assault
Afghans protested for a third day at alleged civilian deaths
At least 30 civilians were killed during recent fighting in the Afghan province of Herat, police and government officials say.
They say that women and children were among the victims. …
On Monday Nato said it had used land and air strikes in Shindand and had no reports of any civilian casualties.
Afghan officials and local people have told the BBC’s Pashto service that more than 30 civilians died in the exchanges.
And Herat police chief Mohammad Shafiq Fazli told the AFP news agency: “There were at least 30 civilians including women and children among those killed in Shindand’s fighting.”
He said his information was based on “reports from various sources” from the area.
Shindand Governor Khodadad Erfani also said there were civilians among the dead, “but we don’t have the number”.
Meanwhile in the eastern city of Jalalabad, there has been a third day of protests against the alleged killing of civilians by US-led forces.
Hundreds of people – mostly students – briefly blocked a main road into the provincial capital and repeated calls for President Hamid Karzai to step down.
The death of civilians has been a major issue in Afghanistan, with Nato saying in January that its biggest mistake in 2006 had been the killing of innocent people.
The alliance has been accused of carelessness over civilian lives when attacking Taleban fighters.
In December President Karzai tearfully accused coalition forces of “killing our children”.
Estimate of number of civilians killed there now 51: here.
By: JENNIFER DITCHBURN
OTTAWA (CP) – The Conservative government seems to have forgotten the lessons of the Maher Arar affair in its response to torture allegations by Afghan detainees, say some of the key figures in the Arar inquiry.
Arar, a Canadian citizen deported by the U.S. to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured, showed no outward signs of torture when Canadian diplomats visited him in jail.
The diplomats’ assessment that there was no proof of torture helped feed a false public perception that Arar was a terrorist.
See also here.