News / Asia

Afghan Officials: NATO Air Strike Kills 11 Civilians, Mostly Children

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VOA News
Afghan officials say a coalition air strike has killed 11 civilians, including 10 children, in the eastern part of the country during a joint Afghan-NATO operation against Taliban militants.

Government officials in Kunar province said Sunday that the air strike targeted a house near Pakistan, killing at least six suspected militants -- including two senior Taliban commanders -- in addition to the civilians.

The U.S.-led coalition confirmed that international forces called in the air strikes after they came under attack from the house Saturday. However, NATO officials have not confirmed the death toll, saying they are still investigating.

The deaths came on the same day that a car bomb killed five Americans, including three U.S. soldiers, a civilian Defense Department employee and a young female foreign service officer. The attack in southern Afghanistan's Zabul province also killed an Afghan doctor.

Their convoy was on the way to deliver books to children at an Afghan school.

Saturday's attacks also came as the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, arrived in the country to meet with American and Afghan officials and assess the number of U.S. troops who should remain in the country to train Afghan soldiers after next year.

Most NATO combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving security responsibility to Afghan forces and raising fears of increased militant violence.

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