9 Children Killed in US Attack: Karzai

Officials say they were gathering firewood on a mountainside

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 2, 2011 8:21 AM CST

(Newser) – A US artillery attack killed nine children and injured a tenth yesterday in Kunar province, Afghan officials declared today. The kids, ages 8 to 14, were reportedly out gathering firewood when rocket fire hit a nearby outpost. The base’s defenders say they responded with “indirect and aerial fire,” which typically means field artillery, according to the LA Times. The incident comes just a week after a strike in the same province that Afghan officials say killed 65 civilians.

Hamid Karzai, speaking in London, condemned yesterday’s “ruthless attack” in “the strongest possible terms,” and wondered aloud if the West could succeed in the country if such civilian deaths continued. The military promised to investigate “quickly and thoroughly.”

An Afghan boy looks on as US soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle near Badel Combat Out Post in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, in this Jan 3, 2011 file photo.
An Afghan boy looks on as US soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle near Badel Combat Out Post in Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, in this Jan 3, 2011 file photo.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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