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Nato air strike kills Afghan troops

An early morning Nato air strike in Afghanistan's eastern Logar province has killed five Afghan soldiers. defence ministry officials said. The coalition said the deaths were an accident and expressed its condolences.

Eight Afghan National Army troops were also wounded and taken by helicopters to Kabul. An investigation was under way and that authorities "were saddened by the incident," said an Afghan defence official.

A spokeswoman for the international forces in Afghanistan, described the killings as an "unfortunate incident" during an operation in the country's east. An investigation was being conducted.

The air strike is likely to draw another condemnation by President Hamid Karzai of US and Nato soldiers in his country.

Mr Karzai has been deeply critical of civilian deaths by international forces and his relationship with Washington has been on a downward spiral for several years.

The testy relationship has kept Mr Karzai from signing a security agreement with the United States that would allow for a residual force of US and Nato troops to stay behind in Afghanistan after the end of December, when all international forces are to leave the country.

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