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Nato disputes air strikes report

The US-led coalition has disputed reports that eight civilians, including children, were killed in a Nato airstrike in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said an airstrike on Saturday night killed eight members of a family, but a senior Nato official said that so far, there is no evidence of any civilian casualties.

The killing of civilians by foreign forces has been a major irritant in Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai's relationship with his international partners.

He warned earlier this month that civilian casualties could undermine a strategic partnership with the US that is to govern long-term relations after most international troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

Mr Karzai appointed a delegation to travel to Paktia province and determine what happened.

The coalition also said it was working to find out more about the operation that foreign forces were conducting in the province.

Nato also reported that one coalition service member died in a roadside bomb attack Sunday in eastern Afghanistan, and four others were killed in separate bomb attacks Saturday in the south.

The coalition did not release their nationalities or any other information about their deaths, which bring to 167 the number of Nato deaths in Afghanistan so far this year.

In Britain, the Ministry of Defence said one of its soldiers was killed Saturday in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj region of southern Helmand province. The nationalities of the others killed were not released.

Elsewhere on Sunday, two civilians were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Marjah district of Helmand province in the south, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said.


From Belfast Telegraph