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Afghan Protesters Allege Civilian Deaths in NATO Raid

Hundreds of Afghan demonstrators blocked a main highway in the eastern part of the country Wednesday to protest the alleged killing of two civilians by NATO forces.

Officials in Nangarhar province say coalition troops killed a father and son during a raid Tuesday night.

NATO said its forces killed two insurgents and captured several others without harming any civilians. It said coalition troops were pursuing a Taliban insurgent linked to at least two attacks using improvised explosive devices.

The protesters chanted anti-government and anti-American slogans while blocking the highway that links Jalalabad to Kabul.

In a separate incident, NATO said a civilian irrigating a field was killed during a gunbattle between insurgents and Afghan and coalition forces in southern Kandahar province on Tuesday.

In neighboring Zabul province, authorities say gunmen killed a provincial official and his wife late Tuesday in their home in Shahjoy district.

Elsewhere in the south, NATO said Afghan and coalition forces freed 27 men from a makeshift Taliban prison in Helmand province. The men were found in the Musa Qala district Tuesday during a joint Afghan and coalition operation that killed 13 insurgents. Afghan officials say five prisoners were killed in the raid, but NATO says no civilians were hurt.

And NATO says four of its service members were wounded Tuesday after a grenade was thrown from a mosque in the eastern province of Wardak.

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