Afghan officials said U.S.-led coalition warplanes have killed dozens of civilians in airstrikes aimed at Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's western Farah province.

One official said Tuesday that villagers brought the bodies of at least 30 people to the provincial capital to prove there were civilian casualties.  Other officials said the death toll was much higher, but the numbers have not been confirmed.

The airstrikes took place during fighting that broke out after Taliban insurgents publicly executed three civilians. Local officials said at least 25 insurgents died in the battle, which also involved Afghan security forces.

There are reports that militants took refuge in civilian homes during the fighting.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Tuesday for greater protections for Afghan citizens. Speaking at a conference in Washington, he voiced support for anti-terrorism efforts, but said measures should be taken to make sure Afghans do not suffer consequences from that fight.

Civilian casualties in the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban have stirred outrage across the country.   President Karzai has urged U.S.-led coalition forces to make every effort to spare civilians.



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