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U.S. Defense Secretary Arrives In Afghanistan


U.S. General David Petraeus (left) greets Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Kabul.
U.S. Defense Secretary Gates arrived in Kabul today for meetings with top NATO commander General David Petraeus and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The Pentagon chief is also expected to visit U.S. troops. Gates arrived from Iraq, where he participated in ceremonies marking the formal close of the U.S. combat mission there.

Gates' arrival came as an Afghan official, provincial government spokesman Faiz Mohammad Tawhedi, said 10 election campaigners had been killed in an air strike by international forces in Takar Province, in the north of the country.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it is investigating the claim.

Karzai today issued a statement condemning the air strike.

In addition, NATO reported that two American officers were killed in fighting -- one in the east and one in the south of the country.

compiled from agency reports