At least 10 children are among the dead following a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.
Seven suspected Taliban militants and at least five women were also killed in the airstrike yesterday, which followed a fierce weekend gunbattle with militants in the Kunar province, according to The Associated Press.
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Reuters reported that 11 children died as a result of the strike.
Civilian deaths have long been a source of tension between international forces and the Afghan government, prompting President Hamid Karzai to ban his forces from requesting NATO airstrikes earlier this year.
The Interior Ministry made no mention of civilian casualties in yesterday's incident.
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But Wasifullah Wasify, a government official in Kunar province, told the AP a civilian home had been targeted, resulting in the deaths of women and children.
At least 10 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in a NATO airstrike in the same area last February, BBC News reported.
Yesterday's deaths came on the same day that a car bomb killed five Americans, including three US soldiers, a young diplomat and a US Defense Department contractor, in southern Afghanistan.