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US Military Investigation Finds More Civilians Died in Afghan Attack


The U.S. military has found that an American airstrike on a village in Afghanistan last month killed more civilians than U.S. commanders previously acknowledged.

Military investigators have concluded that the August 22 airstrike in western Afghanistan's Herat province killed 33 civilians.

The U.S. military originally said that only five to seven civilians died in the attack against a suspected Taliban compound. But Afghan and United Nations officials have said the airstrike killed at least 90 civilians, most of them children.

The U.S. Central Command said Wednesday that despite the civilian deaths, U.S. forces involved in the attack acted in self-defense and in line with rules of engagement.

U.S. military investigators say 22 insurgents also were killed in the attack.

The attack caused tensions between the government of Afghanistan and the U.S. military under the command of General David McKiernan.

McKiernan said in early September that the military would re-investigate the operation because new evidence emerged, including pictures and mobile phone video of the village after the attack.

The video was reported to show scores of bodies, including children, laid out inside a village mosque.

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