Associated Press
September 1, 2008

Foreign and Afghan forces killed five children in two separate incidents Monday, further inflaming tensions in the country over the killings of civilians by troops from the U.S.-led coalition.

NATO said Monday it had accidentally killed three children in an artillery strike in eastern Afghanistan. It said NATO forces had fired the rounds after insurgents attacked its patrol in the Gayan district of Paktika Province and one of the rounds hit a house, killing three children and injuring seven civilians.

In a separate incident, foreign and Afghan forces killed a man and his two children and during a raid near Kabul, the police and witnesses said. Angry men gathered at the victims’ house in the Utkheil area east of the capital, where the three bodies were displayed inside a mud-walled compound. The man’s wife was wounded in the operation, said Yahya Khan, a cousin.

NATO issued an unusual statement Monday warning that the Taliban planned to make a false claim about the killings of civilians in the south.

The latest deaths deepened strains between the Afghan government – under pressure from an increasingly irate public – and foreign forces in the country who are accused of killing dozens of civilians only in the past few weeks.

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