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Karzai Says Civilians, Not Taliban, Died in U.S. Strike

From Associated Press

Interim Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that a U.S. airstrike two weeks ago killed 10 civilians, contradicting American military reports that the only casualties were Taliban.

Karzai said an Interior Ministry report had found that the airstrike on the weekend of Jan. 17 killed 10 civilians. The U.S. military had said five Taliban militants and no civilians were slain.

“There are casualties unfortunately, according to the report that I have received, of civilians, of children and men and women,” Karzai told reporters.

On Saturday, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said the U.S. was reviewing the report.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. military offered its assessment of how at least seven soldiers died in an arms dump blast Thursday near Ghazni, about 60 miles southwest of Kabul, the capital.

Hilferty said the soldiers were preparing to destroy a cache of mortar rounds and rifle ammunition when one or more of the explosives detonated.


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