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Grisly Attack on Civilians Reported in Southern Afghanistan

Afghan police say they have found the mutilated bodies of 11 civilians in a field in the southern part of the country.

Authorities are blaming the Taliban for the killings.

The discovery was made in the Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province. Local officials said some or all of the victims had been decapitated.

A deputy provincial police chief is quoted by Associated Press as saying the Taliban carried out the killings after accusing the civilians of spying or working for the Afghan government.

Meanwhile, NATO reported that attacks killed four more of its soldiers, two in insurgent attacks in the east on Friday and two others in roadside bombings in the south on Thursday and Friday.

NATO has suffered 83 casualties in Afghanistan this month, the worst death toll for international forces since the conflict began in 2001.

NATO reported its troops killed a midlevel Taliban commander and several insurgents during an operation in Kandahar province on Thursday. The Taliban commander known as Faizullah was responsible for numerous roadside bombings and linked to the death of a coalition soldier in March.

Militants have been increasing attacks ahead of a planned military effort by NATO to drive Taliban insurgents out of southern Kandahar city and surrounding areas.

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