Kabul: The US-led coalition today disputed reports that eight civilians, including children, were killed in a NATO airstrike in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan.
Afghan officials said an airstrike yesterday night killed eight members of a family, but a senior NATO official said that so far, there is no evidence of any civilian casualties. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to disclose the information.
The killing of civilians by foreign forces has been a major irritant in Afghan President Hamid Karzai`s relationship with his international partners. He warned earlier this month that civilian casualties could undermine a strategic partnership with the US that is to govern long-term relations after most international troops withdraw by the end of 2014.
Karzai appointed a delegation to travel to Paktia province and determine what happened.
The coalition also said it was working to find out more about the operation that foreign forces were conducting in the province.
NATO also reported today that four coalition service members were killed in separate roadside bomb attacks yesterday in southern Afghanistan, bringing to 166 the number of NATO deaths so far this year.