Afghanistan: 51 civilians killed in fighting

May 3, 2007 03:45

Afghanistan can no longer accept or understand civilian deaths, President Hamid Karzai said, after officials reported that 51 villagers died during a US-led operation against Taliban militants in western Afghanistan. Despite claims Wednesday that women and children were among the dead, the US military maintained it had no reports of civilian casualties. Amid mounting public anger, students staged an anti-American protest in an eastern city. The coalition said the military operation, including airstrikes, was conducted between Friday and Sunday by US and Afghan forces in Herat province's Zerkoh Valley and killed 136 suspected Taliban - the deadliest fighting in Afghanistan since January.

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