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Afghans say NATO air strike kills 12 children, two women

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Afghans say NATO air strike kills 12 children, two women

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A NATO air strike in Helmand province has killed 12 children and two women according to Afghan officials.

Bereaved relatives cradled the bodies of some of the youngsters said to have died when NATO forces targeting insurgents hit two civilian homes instead.

Separately, the governor of Nuristan province says 18 civilians and 20 police were killed by the international coalition in air strikes there last week.

In both cases, NATO’s force in Afghanistan, ISAF, is investigating the reports.

The mistaken killing of civilians by foreign troops is a major source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the West. It also complicates efforts to win support from ordinary Afghans for an increasingly unpopular war.