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NATO Admits Killing Girl in Afghan Raid


NATO says a combined Afghan and coalition force has killed a young girl and an Afghan policeman during an operation against a Taliban leader in eastern Afghanistan.

The incident took place Wednesday in the Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province.

NATO issued a statement Thursday, saying a man at the Taliban leader's suspected compound threatened security forces with a gun and was killed. An investigation later found he was employed by the Afghan National Police.

The coalition said that after the combined force secured the building, a person later identified as an unarmed Afghan girl was shot as she ran from the back of the compound, after forces mistakenly thought she had a gun.

Local residents say the girl was 12-years-old.

A NATO official apologized, and said the coalition is working with Afghan security officials to understand what happened and take steps to prevent future incidents.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly criticized NATO for civilian casualties caused by coalition forces. In March, he told the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. General David Petraeus, that civilian casualties are "no longer acceptable."

NATO also said Thursday that two of its service members died following a shooting incident in southern Afghanistan. The coalition said it is investigating and did not give details.

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