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09/06/2013 10:25 am ET

Afghan Police Go 'Fishing' With RPG, Accidentally Kill 6 Children

Eight Afghan police officers have been arrested following a fishing accident that killed six children in the Doshi district of northern Baghlan province last Friday.

The officers intended to go fishing with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) by firing it into the water. According to an Afghan ministry statement provided to the Agence France-Presse, "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," the statement continued.

Ahmad Jawid Basharat, a provincial spokesman, told the agency the children were swimming in shallow water opposite the police officers when the rocket was fired. All of the children were between the ages of 10 and 14, the AFP reports.

A New York Times report identified the shooter as First Lt. Ahmed Farid, the son of former jihadi commander Gen. Mohammad Leqaa Andarabi, who is reportedly a "powerful local warlord" and a former police chief.

The official account has been contested by a "local police source" who told the BBC the children were killed by an unexploded ordnance they found by the river.

While it's certainly uncommon, fishing with explosives, or "blast fishing," as it's called, is not unheard of in many countries. The detonation stuns and kills fish, leaving them to be easily retrieved. Unsurprisingly, the practice is highly destructive to surrounding environments and is largely condemned.

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