The Canadian Press, October 18, 2006

22 civilians die in southern Afghanistan offensives by NATO

NATO said an operation was believed to have caused "several" civilian casualties.

A child injured in the Panjwaee bombings by the US troops
RAWA: 3 year-old Mohammad Imran in a local hospital in Kandahar. According to villagers all of his family members were killed after the coalition forces bombed their village in Panjwaee of Kandahar province in May 2006.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - NATO air strikes in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province killed nine civilians and wounded 11 others Wednesday, the provincial governor said. NATO said an operation was believed to have caused "several" civilian casualties.

The strike in Zhari district hit three houses, said Gov. Asadullah Khalid. He said an unknown number of Taliban rebels were also killed.

The Kandahar strike was one of two on civilian targets in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday in which a total of 22 civilians were reported killed.

Earlier Wednesday, official said a rocket hit a house during a nighttime clash between suspected Taliban insurgents and NATO and Afghan security forces in Helmand province, police said. A resident said 13 villagers, including women and children, died.

At least one insurgent was killed and three police wounded in Tajikai village in southern Helmand province before the rocket slammed into the house, said Ghulam Nabi Malakhel, the provincial police chief.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it regretted any civilian casualties and that it makes "every effort" to minimize the risk of collateral damage during operations.

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