Air raids 'target Afghan villages'

Nato says no strikes occured and denies local reports of heavy civilian casualties.

    A resurgent Taliban has been
    battling pro-government forces [AP] 

    Zahri, about 30km east of Kandahar city, has been a flashpoint for fighting.

     

    The media office of Nato's International Security Assistance Force said it did not immediately have information about the incident.

     

    Taliban version

     

    James Bays, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Afghanistan, quoted Taliban sources as saying that the air strikes had killed seven people.

     

    The Taliban claimed all those killed were civilians attending a wedding party, Bays said.

     

    Strikes carried out by Nato and US-led coaltion forces in Afghanistan have often caused heavy civilian casualties and been criticised.

     

    The recent killings of civilians in Helmand province have prompted Hamid Karzai, the president, to say that patience was running out and demanded that civilian casualties be avoided.

     

    The Taliban movement rose in the early 1990s to sweep to power by 1996. After five years in government, the ultra-conservative group was overthrown by a US-led military coalition.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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