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Afghan Military Officials: More than 60 Insurgents Killed in Military Operation


Afghan military officials say more than 60 insurgents have been killed in a joint Afghan and NATO operation in southern Helmand province.

Officials said Tuesday the operation in Gereshk district is ongoing.

They also say troops destroyed at least two vehicles carrying militants in a separate operation in Garmsir district.

Elsewhere in the south Tuesday, NATO says militants ambushed a convoy, triggering a gunbattle in which one civilian was killed and others wounded.

One victim said they were caught in the crossfire as they sat in a bakery in Kandahar.

Afghan officials say at least 50 civilians have been killed during operations by U.S.-led troops recently, sparking days of protests by angry villagers.

In separate violence in Kandahar Tuesday, unidentified gunmen killed an Afghan man who was on his way to work. He was employed by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

U.S. officials say they share the Afghan government's concern about any civilian deaths during military operations.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has publicly complained about civilian deaths by NATO and U.S.-led troops fighting Taleban militants, saying the deaths are unacceptable.

President Bush's chief spokesman, Tony Snow, said last week that the militants are to blame for many civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

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

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