KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A NATO airstrike struck two houses, killing as many as nine Afghan civilians and four insurgents in an eastern province near the Pakistani border, officials said Wednesday.
The attack occurred about 10 p.m. Tuesday during a joint NATO-Afghan operation in the Shigal district of Kunar province, a lawmaker from the area said. The U.S.-led military alliance in Kabul said it was looking into the reports.
Wagma Sapay, a member of parliament from Kunar, said the civilians killed were in one house while four senior Taliban leaders were slain as they were gathering next door in the village of Sharpool in the Chawkam area.
She said the civilians killed included five children and four women. Police confirmed the death toll as nine but did not provide other details.
Provincial Gov. Sayed Fazelullah Wahidi said the local government had not been informed about plans for the strike. He put the death toll at eight – four women and four children. The conflicting casualty numbers couldn’t immediately be reconciled.
“This operation was by coalition and Afghan forces,” he said. “We were not aware of it.”
The killing of civilians at the hands of U.S. and other foreign forces has been one of the most contentious issues in the 11-year war.
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