MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Russia demands the US-led coalition in Afghanistan probe into airstrikes in the Helmand and Paktia provinces killing more than 30 civilians and punish those responsible, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.
"We have repeatedly said that staking on military force in settling the Afghan problem is fraught with serious risks, first of all, those linked with numerous casualties among civilians. Regrettably, these concerns prove to be grounded," the ministry said. "We demand a thorough investigation be conducted into these incidents and those responsible be held accountable."
"Once again, we call on all the parties concerned to put an end to the fratricidal war and begin the process of national reconciliation," the ministry stressed.
The ministry expressed deep concern over the incidents in Helmand and Paktia and noted that mistakes made by both government forces and foreign contingents leads to such tragedies. "Such criminal unprofessionalism gives grounds for serious questions to the activities of NATO troops in Afghanistan," the ministry said.
According to earlier reports, at least 30 civilians, including eight women and ten children, were killed in an airstrike delivered by the US-led coalition on Taliban (radical movement outlawed in Russia) forces in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province. Eight civilians were killed and four more were wounded in another operation of the international coalition in the Paktia province.