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NATO Says Air Raid in Nuristan Province Did Not Kill Afghan Workers

By VOA News
29 November 2007

NATO says evidence collected at the site of an airstrike against a Taliban leader in northeastern Afghanistan shows the attack was successful and did not result in the deaths of 14 construction workers.

Brigadier General Carlos Branco said Thursday Afghan and NATO forces tracked the movements of the key Taliban leader in Nuristan province, Abdullah Jan, and five of his followers Monday night - and that they were eliminated by a precision airstrike.

Branco added there was no construction equipment or materials at the site, indicating there was no presence of civilians.

Also Thursday, police in southern Kandahar province said Afghan and international forces killed about 30 Taliban insurgents and captured 12 others overnight.

In neighboring Helmand province, two Danish soldiers were killed in a gunbattle with Taliban insurgents. Denmark has more than 500 troops in Afghanistan.

NATO and the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan have been sharply criticized for killing civilians during their military operations against insurgents.

NATO has said it is doing all it can to prevent civilian casualties - and has blamed Taliban militants for using local people as human shields.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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