Posted by | February 14, 2010 11:53 | Filed under: Top Stories

NATO rockets missed its intended target and struck a house, resulting in the death of 12 civilians in the town of Marjah, population 80,000.

Afghan and international troops want to secure the area, set up a local government and rush in development aid in what is seen as the first test of the new U.S. strategy for turning the tide of the 8-year-old war. The civilian deaths were a blow to NATO and the Afghan government’s attempts to win the allegiance of Afghans and get them to turn away from the insurgents.

NATO said two rockets from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System were aimed at insurgents firing on Afghan and NATO forces, but stuck 1,000 feet (300 meters) off their intended target.

Before this offensive began, Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Afghan and foreign troops to be “seriously careful for the safety of civilians.”

The offensive, called “Moshtarak,” or “Together,” is the biggest joint operation since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, with 15,000 troops involved, including some 7,500 in Marjah itself. Most of the NATO forces taking part are American or British.

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By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.