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Afghan air strikes kill nine civilians

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July 16, 2008

KABUL (AFP) — Afghan authorities said Wednesday air strikes against extremist
rebels in southwestern Afghanistan had killed four women and five children as
well as several insurgents.

A “big number” of rebels were killed in other operations while three more
civilians died in militant bombings, they said, with violence linked to an
insurgency led by the hardline Taliban surging in recent weeks.

International troops said they were looking into allegations that civilians
were killed in the volatile Bakwa district of southwestern Farah province.

“The bombing started Tuesday morning,” deputy provincial governor Mohammad
Younus Rasouli told AFP. “One bomb struck a civilian home which killed four
women, four young girls and a boy.”

Provincial police chief Khalilullah Rahmani gave the same information citing
people from the area, which has seen a build-up of Taliban in recent years and
is involved in opium production.

US Lieutenant Nathan Perry confirmed to AFP that air strikes were used
against rebels in the area overnight.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US-led
coalition are also investigating official reports that 64 civilians were killed
in strikes in northeastern Afghanistan early this month.

The governor of the southern province of Kandahar said meanwhile that a
two-day operation in Panjwayi had killed several militants and captured more.

“A big number of enemy, most of them Pakistani nationals, have been killed,”
governor Assadullah Khalid told reporters.

ISAF said it conducted air strikes against militant leaders in Kandahar after
a tip-off from Afghan intelligence and added that several insurgent leaders were
killed. It was not clear if it was the same incident referred to by Khalid.

Afghanistan has this month seen some of its deadliest militant attacks since
the launch of an insurgency after the Taliban were removed from government in
late 2001.

They included a suicide bombing at the Indian embassy in Kabul, which killed
about 60 people, and an attack on an ISAF outpost Sunday that killed nine US
soldiers.

The international forces have in turn unleashed a series of operations that
they say have killed dozens of rebels countrywide.

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Written by afghandevnews

July 18, 2008 at 4:44 am

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