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NATO to Investigate Claims of Civilians Deaths During Airstrike


The NATO mission in Afghanistan says it is investigating claims that an airstrike killed six civilians, including children, in eastern Kunar province.

The alliance says four to eight militants were killed and intelligence indicated
preparations were underway to attack NATO targets. But in Kabul, ISAF spokesman Captain Mark Durkin said that NATO will investigate allegations of civilian casualties and compensate those affected.

Local Afghan officials and villagers say the strike slammed into homes in Watapur district, killing six civilians, including a woman and a child, and wounding at least 14 others.

The allegations come less than a week after the U.S.-led coalition admitted that U.S. and Afghan troops killed at least four civilians during an operation in eastern Khost province. Last week, U.S. military officials expressed regret and promised to compensate the surviving family members.

Civilian deaths during military operations targeting militants is a major source of tension between Afghan authorities and U.S. and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

Aid agencies have warned that a planned U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan could lead to more civilian causalities. The Obama administration is sending an additional 21,000 U.S. troops and trainers as part of its new strategy to fight a growing Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

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

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