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Afghan President Says Air Strikes Kill Civilians, Urges Action in Pakistan


Afghan President Hamid Karzai says NATO and U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan are only killing civilians.

In Kabul Sunday, Mr. Karzai urged international forces to switch the focus of the war on terrorism and target militant training sites and safe havens inside neighboring Pakistan.

President Karzai echoed U.S. concerns that Pakistan is not doing enough to stop cross-border attacks on Afghanistan. Pakistan rejects the criticism.

Mr. Karzai's latest appeal followed reports that civilians were killed in air strikes north of Kabul.

Afghan officials say at least 11 people were killed in Kapisa province Saturday, after suspected Taliban militants attacked foreign soldiers in the Tagab area.

Afghan and NATO officials are investigating the reports. However, NATO says it does not believe any civilians were killed in the incident.

Meanwhile, in southern Afghanistan Sunday, five civilians died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Kandahar province.

The Zhari district police chief, Bismillah Khan, accused Taliban militants of laying the device close to an Afghan army base . He said the victims were driving to the grape fields to work when they were killed.

An organization representing about 100 aid agencies in Afghanistan, the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, says 2,500 people have been killed in fighting this year, 1,000 of them civilians.

Insurgent attacks are blamed for two-thirds of all reported civilian casualties. Military air strikes and excessive force also are blamed.

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

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