NATO accused of 'covering up' night raid that killed two pregnant women

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Washington, Mar. 13 (ANI): NATO forces reportedly tried to "cover up" a night raid conducted in Afghanistan's Paktia province which killed two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials.n a statement after the March 12 raid titled, NATO said: "Several insurgents engaged the joint force in a firefight and were killed."

It also claimed that the force had found the women's bodies "tied up, gagged and killed" in a room.

However, according to The Times, Nato's claims are either wilfully false or misleading.

The first person to die in the raid was Commander Dawood, 43, a long-serving, popular and highly-trained policeman who had recently been promoted to head of intelligence in one of Paktia's most volatile districts.

His brother, Saranwal Zahir, was a prosecutor in Ahmadabad district. He was killed while he stood in a doorway trying to protest their innocence.

Three women crouching in a hallway behind him were hit by the same volley of fire.

Bibi Shirin, 22, Bibi Saleha, 37, were four and five months pregnant respectively.

Rear Admiral Greg Smith, Nato's director of communications in Kabul, denied that there had been any attempt at a cover-up.

He said that both the men who were killed were armed and showing "hostile intent" but admitted "they were not the targets of this particular raid".

"I don't know if they fired any rounds. If you have got an individual stepping out of a compound, and if your assault force is there, that is often the trigger to neutralise the individual. ou don't have to be fired upon to fire back," he said. (ANI)

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