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Report Says NATO Air Strike Kills Eight From Same Family


Local authorities say a NATO air strike has killed eight members of a family in eastern Afghanistan.

Provincial government spokesman Rohullah Samoon says the attack on May 26 in the Suri Khail village of Paktia's Gurda Saria district killed a man, his wife, and their six children.

"According to initial operation reports, a combined Afghan and ISAF patrol were attacked by a large group of insurgents in southern Paktia Province," ISAF Captain Justin Brockhoff told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan. "The troops responded to this attack by returning fire and requesting close air support. And now we are aware of the claims that there were civilian casualties in southern Paktia Province.

"Coalition officials are currently gathering information to look into those claims. We are conducting a thorough assessment of that incident. It was concurrent with a combat operation which involved a significant number of insurgents attacking a coalition force in Paktia."

The UN says nearly eight out of 10 civilian deaths in Afghanistan are the result of attacks by Taliban insurgents or Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

But the deaths of civilians caused by NATO-led forces continue to be an irritant in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's relationship with foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says four of its service members have been killed in separate bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan.

ISAF said in a statement that the soldiers died "following separate improvised explosive device attacks" on May 26.

No other details were provided.

One of the soldiers is thought to be a British soldier killed in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj region of southern Helmand Province.

The British Defense Ministry announced late on May 26 that the soldier died while traveling in a vehicle.

No details have been given on that death.

Also, the Afghan Interior Ministry announced that six militants were killed on May 26 in joint operations in four eastern provinces.

The ministry said another three were killed when the roadside bombs they were trying to plant detonated in Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan and Radio Mashaal

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