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Six Children Die When Afghan Police Blast Them With RPG Meant To Kill Fish

United States involvement in the war in Afghanistan may be winding down, but the country is still dangerous, even when there are no battles going on.

Eight Afghan police are under arrest after accidentally firing a Rocket Propelled Grenade into a crowd of kids, when they meant to use the deadly weapon -- generally deployed to shoot down helicopters and stop tanks -- to catch a few fish in a nearby fishing hole.

Six children, ages 10 to 14, were killed and two wounded from the stray RPG fire, in the Doshi district of Baghlan province last Friday.

"The police did not mean to kill the children,” Ahmad Jawid Basharat, a spokesperson for the provincial government told the French news agency AFP. “They were fishing, but the rocket went astray and hit the other side of the river where children were swimming in shallow water.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai promised the families of the slain children that “justice will be served.”

"Eight police personnel accused of misusing government weapons that killed these children have been arrested and handed over to military prosecutors for investigation," Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs said in a press release.

Fishing with weapons of war is a common practice in Afghanistan. Hand grenades and RPGs are often used to blast fish out of the water. According to AFP, fishermen in some parts of the country use wire connected to generators to electrocute fish -- but swimmers can sometimes feel the jolt as well.

One of the arrested officers may be a relative of a local warlord, AFP reported, saying that such rumors were not confirmed by the interior ministry.

SOURCES: AFP, U.K. Metro, Gulf Today


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