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NATO Compensates Relatives Of Dead Afghan Civilians

ISAF troops in Kandahar (file photo) (epa) November 1, 2006 -- The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan says it has paid compensation and handed out aid to civilians in Kandahar Province who were targeted by air strikes last week.

ISAF spokesman Major Luke Knittig said preliminary inquiries confirm 12 civilians were killed by the October 24 raid in the province's Panjwayi district.

Local residents claim that 60 to 85 civilians were killed. But Knittig said 57 other confirmed deaths are thought to have been Taliban fighters who were massing in a large, open compound for an attack.

Knittig said food, shelter, and clothing have been distributed to civilians in the Panjwayi district. He says cash payments have been made to relatives of the civilians killed.