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U.S. investigating reports of Afghan civilians killed by its military forces

March 5, 2007

Kabul, Afghanistan - The U.S. military Monday is investigating two incidents in Afghanistan involving its forces that may have unintentionally led to the deaths of several civilians.

The U.S. military Monday is investigating two incidents in Afghanistan involving its forces that may have unintentionally led to the deaths of several civilians.

Afghan officials, quoted by wires services, said a Sunday night airstrike in the town of Nijrab, north of Kabul, killed a family of nine, including several young children.

An investigation into the incident is under way, the spokesman said. It was not immediately clear if the nine killed were insurgents or civilians, he said.

The U.S. military is also investigating another incident on Sunday, in which U.S. forces fired on Afghans after a suicide car bombing attack on its forces near the southeastern city of Jalalabad.

Eight Afghan civilians were killed and 35 others were wounded in the attack, but it was not clear if the casualties were caused by the initial explosion, by Taliban gunfire or return fire from troops in the convoy.

No U.S. forces were seriously wounded in the incident.

Zmarai Bashiri, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, said "the American forces became emotional (after the car bombing) and opened fire on Afghans in the area because they feared another bomb attack."

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