VOA, October 25, 2010

NATO Airstrike Kills 15 in Afghanistan

But provincial officials say 25 people, including civilians, were killed in the airstrike

NATO says it is investigating allegations of civilian casualties during a coalition airstrike in southern Afghanistan.

Civilians killed by NATO in Nengrahar
Local residents and relatives gather around the bodies of people killed in an overnight raid by NATO forces, at Surkh Rod, Afghanistan, Friday, May 14, 2010. More than 500 people poured into the streets in the Surkh Rod district of Nangahar province to protest the raid by international forces that they claim killed at least nine civilians. (Photo: AP)

The alliance said Monday that 15 insurgents were killed overnight in a joint Afghan-NATO operation against a senior Taliban leader in the Baghran district of Helmand province.

NATO says troops took fire from insurgents as they secured compounds in the area, and eventually called in an airstrike after ensuring no civilians were in the area.

But provincial officials say 25 people, including civilians, were killed in the airstrike. Local residents say a mosque was also destroyed during the operation.

Also Monday, NATO said an insurgent attack the day before killed one of its service members in eastern Afghanistan. The latest casualty brings the number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 600. This year has already been the deadliest for international forces in Afghanistan since the beginning of the nine-year war.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.

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