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UN Condemns Deadly Attack in Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council has condemned an attack by the Taliban on an Afghan courthouse that killed 46 people, and called for the perpetrators, organizers and financiers to be brought to justice.

The council Thursday also reiterated its "serious concern" at the threats posed by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other illegal armed groups to the local population, national security forces, international military and international assistance efforts in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials say the gunmen deliberately targeted civilians during the attack Wednesday in Farah province as they looked to free other insurgents facing trial. More than 100 people were wounded in the raid.

Also Thursday, local officials in eastern Afghanistan said a NATO helicopter killed four Afghan police officers and wounded at least two civilians during an attack on militants.

Authorities in Ghazni province say the incident occurred in Deyak district late Wednesday. NATO officials say they are investigating the claims.



Last week, an airstrike by a NATO helicopter supporting Afghan security forces killed nine suspected Taliban militants, as well as two civilians, in another area of Ghazni province.

Civilian casualties have long been a source of contention between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the international coalition fighting in Afghanistan and has prompted NATO in the past to alter its strategies in order to further limit collateral damage.

International reports studying casualty rates throughout the 11-year Afghan war blame insurgents for a vast majority of civilian deaths.

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