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NATO kills Afghan children, loses three soldiers

Three US soldiers were killed on Friday in attacks in Afghanistan, NATO said, as Afghan authorities accused international forces of killing six children during an air assault on Taliban positions.



Kabul: Three US soldiers were killed on Friday in attacks in Afghanistan, NATO said, as Afghan authorities accused international forces of killing six children during an air assault on Taliban positions.

Amid a surge in military deaths, NATO`s International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it lost three soldiers
in two separate Taliban-style bomb attacks -- two were killed
in the country`s east, while one died in the south.

The insurgency, dragging towards its tenth year, is
concentrated in the eastern and southern border belts of the
country.

In eastern Kunar province, a mountainous region known
to be a Taliban stronghold, a police commander said to a news agency that six children were killed in an air raid aimed at quelling a
Taliban attack.

Provincial police chief Khalilullah Ziayee said a
group of children were collecting scrap metal on the mountain
when NATO aircraft dropped bombs to disperse Taliban fighters
attacking a nearby base.

"In the bombardment six children, aged six to 12, were
killed. Another child was injured," the police commander said.

ISAF said in a statement that it had carried out an
airstrike and it was investigating claims that civilians had
been killed in those raids.

ISAF "officials are aware of civilian casualty
allegations as a result of the engagement and are conducting
an investigation," it said in a statement.

The alliance force said its soldiers observed a
rebels` round killing a non-combatant in a cornfield as it
fought the militants from a small outpost. It said four rebels
were also killed in the battle.

The issue of civilian casualties is highly sensitive
with Afghan leaders who argue that such incidents erode public
support for the Western-backed administration.

In a recent meeting with US congressmen and military
officials, President Hamid Karzai said one of the reasons that
the US-led "war on terror" had not yet succeeded was "because
civilians were killed in this war".

Kunar, a rugged and heavily wooded region, is one of
the most troubled provinces in Afghanistan and the scene of a
huge military operation by US-led forces and their Afghan
counterparts earlier in the summer.

PTI

From Zee News

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