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Saturday, March 26, 2011

NATO air raid kills Afghan civilians

A number of civilians have been killed and wounded in southern Afghanistan following a NATO air raid targeting two vehicles that coalition forces believed to be carrying Taliban fighters.

In a statement on Saturday, the coalition said that it was investigating the incident, but did not release the number of dead and wounded.

Nato said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had called in an air attack on the two vehicles believing them to be carrying a Taliban leader and his associates, but later discovered they were transporting civilians.

The attack occurred on Friday in the Naw Zad district of Helmand province.

Civilian casualties in military operations in Afghanistan have become increasingly embarrassing for international forces battling the Taliban there ahead of a planned handover of security to Afghan forces.

The latest incident comes only two days after the coalition killed two civilians in the eastern province of Khost.

The two were walking near a car with suspected insurgents and were not seen until after a NATO helicopter gunship launched its attack, NATO said.

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