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Three Afghan civilians die in NATO air strike

A child was among three civilians who died in a NATO air strike.

Updated: Apr 20, 2011, 22:20 PM IST

Asadabad: A child was among
three civilians who died in a NATO air strike in eastern
Afghanistan which also killed 14 insurgents, local officials
said on Wednesday.

The attack by the NATO-led International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) happened late yesterday in the Dangam
district of Kunar province, provincial governor Fazlullah
Wahidi said.

"Fourteen militants, among them some Arab and Pakistani
nationals, and three civilians have been killed in last
night`s air strikes," Wahidi said.

District governor Hamish Gulab said the civilians were
two women and a child who died when a missile hit a gathering
of insurgents in a house.

An ISAF spokesman confirmed that its troops had carried
out air and ground operations on targets in Dangam, but added:
"We are still gathering information."

The issue of civilian casualties is a cause of serious
tension between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western
backers and is highly sensitive in Afghanistan, triggering
frequent protests.

Kunar province, which borders Pakistan, has seen a string
of civilian casualties as foreign forces target insurgents,
including the deaths of nine children in another air strike
for which the US apologised last month.

There are around 130,000 international troops in
Afghanistan fighting a Taliban-led insurgency which has lasted
for nearly ten years.

Bureau Report