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Pakistan Prompts Afghanistan To Probe Deadly Raid

Afghan soldiers in the southern city of Kandahar (file photo) (epa) March 23, 2006 -- Afghan authorities say they have launched an investigation into a raid by troops near the border with Pakistan that ended on March 21 in the death of at least 15 people.

Afghan officials initially said the troops attacked suspected militants near the town of Spin Boldak in Kandahar Province after receiving intelligence reports that insurgents were preparing to enter Afghanistan.

However, Pakistan says those killed were Pakistani tribesmen traveling to a festival, and not members of the Taliban, the radical movement deposed from power by the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry lodged a formal complaint with Afghanistan on March 23.

The bodies of the men have been returned to Pakistan for burial.

(AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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