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Afghan Police Rocket Kills Six Children
Six children have been killed and two others wounded in Afghanistan after policemen fired a rocket into a river to catch fish.
Eight officers have been arrested in connection with the accident, which happened last Friday in the Doshi district of the northern province of Baghlan, according to the authorities.
Officials say policemen on the bank of a river fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) into the water but it went astray and hit where the children had been swimming.
The victims were aged between 10 and 14.
In a statement, the interior ministry said: "The rocket went astray and hit a place where children were playing, killing six and wounding two others.
"Eight police personnel accused of misusing government weapons that killed these children have been arrested and handed over to military prosecutors for investigation."
Confirming the incident, Ahmad Jawid Basharat, a provincial spokesman, said: "The police did not mean to kill the children, they were fishing, but the rocket went astray and hit the other side of the river where children were swimming in shallow water."
Using explosives such as RPGs and hand grenades to kill and catch fish is not uncommon in Afghanistan.
In some parts of the country people even use electrical generators and bare wire to catch fish, posing an extreme hazard to swimmers.