BBC News, August 12, 2010

Afghan villages protest over Nato “civilian killings”

A crowd of about 300 villagers yelled "Death to the United States!" and blocked a main road in Wardak during Thursday's protest

People in Wardak stage Anti-US protest
Villagers shout anti- U.S. slogans following the alleged U.S. raid in Sayed Abad district of Wardak province, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. A protester said, "They martyred three students and detained five others. All of them were civilians. Local people are devastated by this incident. Everyone says we do not want Americans in Afghanistan." (Photo: AP/Rahmatullah Naikzad)

A mourner mourning his relatives killed in NATO raid
An Afghan mourns for relatives who other mourners say were killed by NATO forces during a raid in the Sayed Abad district of Wardak province on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Rahmatullah Naikzad)

Villagers have held a protest over the deaths of three brothers allegedly killed in a raid by Nato-led forces in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak.

They said those killed overnight in Sayed Abad district were innocent.

Nato rejected the allegation, saying it had killed several suspected insurgents and detained a local Taliban commander.

Separately, the charity International Assistance Mission has blamed militants for killing 10 of its workers, including eight foreigners, last week.

A UN report published earlier this week said that 386 civilians were killed by Nato or Afghan forces in the first six months of this year.

It said that the Taliban were responsible for 76% of civilian deaths and injuries during the same period.

Earlier, the head of International Assistance Mission said militants were "probably responsible" for shooting dead its staff in Badakhshan province last week - not thieves as previously suggested by local police.

In a statement, Dirk Frans said the medical charity was now working on the assumption that the attack had been an "opportunistic ambush by non-local fighters".

The only survivor, an Afghan man who worked as the team's driver, has now been released after questioning by the authorities.

He told investigators that he believed the lead gunmen was from Pakistan, because he had spoken words more commonly used there.

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