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Official: NATO forces kill four civilians in eastern Afghanistan

Other News Materials 20 April 2010 15:27 (UTC +04:00)
A provincial government official said Tuesday that NATO forces shot dead four Afghan civilians, but NATO said those killed were Taliban militants and their associates.
Official: NATO forces kill four civilians in eastern Afghanistan

A provincial government official said Tuesday that NATO forces shot dead four Afghan civilians, but NATO said those killed were Taliban militants and their associates.

The incident happened roughly 1 kilometre south of Khost city, the capital of the south-eastern province of Khost on Monday night, Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told the German Press Agency dpa.

He said all the deceased were civilians, who were driving in a vehicle that failed to stop at military checkpoint. "We condemn the attack," he said.

However, NATO said in a statement that two of the dead people were "known insurgents" and the other two were their associates.

A vehicle approached a military convoy and did not stop despite warning shots, it said, adding, "Several rounds were fired in an attempt to disable the vehicle, and finally shots were fired into the vehicle itself."

"All four died of wounds at the scene," it said.

Civilian casualties at the hands of international troops have become a delicate issue in Afghanistan. Such deaths have become the main source of tension between the Afghan government and foreign troops.

Separately, a bomb strapped to a bicycle was detonated in the centre of Khost city close to the main police headquarters on Tuesday, causing no death or damage, Zadran said.

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