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60 killed in NATO battles: Afghan Govt

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 14:46 IST
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Around 60 people were killed in battles between NATO troops and Taliban in southern Afghanistan this week, more than half of whom were rebels and the rest civilians, the government said on Friday.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force in southern Afghanistan said earlier 12 civilians were killed in a series of strikes on Tuesday, including a bombing raid.

President Hamid Karzai has appointed a commission to investigate the civilian casualties amid claims that at least 60 civilians were killed.

"The initial reports we have is 60 people were killed in the bombing and more than half of them are insurgents and the rest are civilians," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.

ISAF has said 48 Taliban were killed in three skirmishes on Tuesday.

"The president has appointed a delegation to go to the area and investigate the case. Once the delegation finishes its investigation, we will be able to give you exact figures on the casualty breakdown," Bashary told the agency.

An ISAF spokesman in the southern province of Kandahar told the agency on that the force could confirm that at least 12 civilians were killed.

"We can confirm at least 12 deaths and we are working with the Afghan ministry of defence to conduct further investigations," spokesman Captain Andre Salloum said.

Salloum said the force deeply regretted any civilians deaths in its operations.

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