BBC News, October 5, 2007


Civilians die in Afghanistan raid

Troops found the dead woman and child while combing the remains of the compound at the Waza Khwa district

A woman and child were among the civilians killed in a raid by a US-led coalition force against a Taliban hideout in Afghanistan, officials say. The coalition said its forces responded to an attack by destroying the building in which militants were hiding.

Troops found the dead woman and child while combing the remains of the compound at the Waza Khwa district in the south-eastern province of Paktika.

The coalition said it had not known any civilians were nearby at the time.

It also accused the Taliban of putting innocent people in danger by hiding among them.

Grenades

A US military spokesman said troops had been searching a compound early on Friday when Taliban fighters opened fire and threw several grenades.

Maj Chris Belcher said coalition and Afghan troops fought back and afterwards found "several adult males, an adult female, and one child dead" inside the building.

The coalition said several of its soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The BBC's Charles Haviland in Kabul says the coalition has promised a full investigation.

Afghan leaders have made frequent calls for the coalition to avoid civilian casualties as it breeds anger inside the country against the foreign forces.

Meanwhile, two children died when a suicide bomber approaching an Afghan military compound blew himself up prematurely in Helmand's Sangin district.

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