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Afghans say airstrike kills civilians

From Aliza Kassim, CNN
updated 6:02 AM EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Afghans say 15 civilians killed in coalition airstrike
  • ISAF confirms helicopter attack, but is investigating whether civilians are among the casualties
  • The incident happened in Ghazni, outside of Kabul

(CNN) -- An investigation is under way into whether civilians were killed as a result of a coalition airstrike in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said Saturday.

Local government officials in Ghazni district, outside of Kabul, allege that 15 civilians were killed by coalition forces. ISAF is aware of the reports, but could not confirm who was killed.

An ISAF helicopter attacked a group of insurgents in Ghazni district and killed and wounded several people, Maj. Adam Wojack said.

Ghazni officials said that the helicopter fired on a village in the province, and 15 bodies were found in the area. Seven were injured, including two women and a 13-year-old child, they said.

Local officials did not know whether any of the dead were insurgents, said Fazel Mohammad Sabawoon, spokesman for the Ghazni governor.

The attack hit a highly populated village, resulting in several casualties, he said.

ISAF targeted the same area from which Afghan security forces exchanged fire with insurgents earlier in the day, Wojack said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for attacking what it said was a convoy of Afghan police. The police responded by calling in ISAF to help with its helicopter, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

Journalist Abdul Qadir Seddiqi contributed to this report from Kabul.

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