Dozens of villagers were killed in a NATO military strike against suspected Taliban militants in the fighters' former southern Afghan stronghold, Afghan officials said. But NATO said its initial reports suggest only 12 civilians were killed.
The civilian deaths - estimated by Afghan officials at between 30 and 80, including many women and children - are among the highest in any foreign military action in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban and could turn locals against the counterinsurgency campaign.
Fearful villagers were Thursday packing up vehicles and donkeys to flee the Panjwayi region, in southern Kandahar province, where NATO has been battling suspected Taliban militants.
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