Russia demands probe of civilian deaths in Afghanistan

Afghan civilian deaths from airstrikes of NATO-led forces should be thoroughly investigated, a Russian foreign ministry official said Tuesday.

"Moscow has noticed reports about civilian casualties in Kunar province as a result of an airstrike of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan," Konstantin Dolgov said in a comment on the ministry's website.

The special envoy for human rights, democracy and the rule of law was referring to an alleged ISAF air raid on Saturday that killed 10 children in Afghanistan's Kunar province.

The frequency of such incidents has been rising lately, said the diplomat, adding that "We believe the episode must be thoroughly investigated and those guilty to be punished."

The official urged all sides in Afghanistan to obey international humanitarian law and not to inflict damage on civilians and infrastructure in the country.

"The unaccepted cases of casualties among Afghan civilians as a result of military operations reconfirm the urgency for ISAF to undertake additional efficient measures" to prevent repetition of such tragedies, Dolgov said.