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NATO: Too Many Civilians Deaths Last Year in Afghanistan


NATO says its biggest mistake has been the number of innocent civilians killed by its forces during operations in Afghanistan last year.

NATO spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, Richard Nugee, said Wednesday the alliance is working hard to change that in the coming year.

But Nugee said NATO had killed far fewer people than Taleban militants, who he said staged more than 100 suicide attacks last year.

Afghan officials say NATO bombs killed dozens of villagers in one incident in southern Kandahar province in October.

Meanwhile in southern Helmand province Wednesday, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says coalition forces killed at least 10 suspected Taleban militants in an operation that ended Monday. Officials say at least one Taleban commander died in the operation.

NATO forces in Afghanistan are accused of killing civilians in air strikes and gunbattles during operations against the Taleban and their allies.

The NATO spokesman also said while civilian deaths were too high, NATO and Afghan fighters successfully beat back a resurgent Taleban movement during tough battles in the south last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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