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Eight Afghan civilians killed in attack blamed on air strike

At least eight Afghan civilians, including four children, have been killed in an attack their relatives have blamed on an air strike.

But officials in the Bala Buluk district of western Farah province claim the deaths were caused by a roadside bomb.

Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Dawlat Waziri said an investigation is under way.

"We are aware of the allegations made by the local people, right now an investigation is going on into the incident in Farah," he said.

Dr Abdul Hakim Rasouli, director of Farah Hospital, said 22 people were injured in the attack.

Three of the wounded are in a critical condition and will be transferred to another hospital in neighbouring Herat province for further treatment, he added.

One resident, a 30-year-old mother-of-four named Salima, said two of her children were killed and a third injured in the attack.

She insisted her family was hit by an air strike.

"I don't want to be alive anymore while I don't have my children with me," she added.

Samila said her village has been the site of ongoing gun battles for the past three days and that Taliban militants had warned villagers to leave their homes for safety.

Elsewhere, an Afghan parliamentarian from Helmand province has been injured in an attack by gunmen in Kandahar province.

Mir Wali was shot by two attackers on a motorcycle who then escaped, the local governor's spokesman Samim Khpolwak said.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Mr Wali is a close ally of the United States.

It was the second attack on Mr Wali in recent months.

In December, three gunmen stormed his home in the capital Kabul. Eight people were killed and Mr Wali was injured.

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