A provincial governor in Afghanistan has said an air strike by western forces has killed 21 civilians. The incident would bring to nearly 90 the number of civilian casualties blamed by Afghan officials on Nato troops in the past two weeks. There is growing anger in the country over the increasing number of civilian deaths associated with coalition forces. The air strike hit a village in the Sangin district of Southern Helmand province, where western troops have been hunting Taleban fighters in recent weeks.
NATO says its soldiers were not active in the area at the time, but has added that the official may have been referring to a clash involving US-led coalition troops and Taleban militants nearby, in which a coalition soldier died. It comes just after the US commander in eastern Afghanistan apologised on Tuesday for the killing of 19 civilians by his troops just over a month ago.