Civilians killed in Afghanistan air strike-officials

KUNDUZ - As many as 14 people, including women and children, were killed in an air strike carried out during an operation by Afghan security forces near the northern city of Kunduz on Thursday, officials said.
The civilian deaths add to a total that reached record levels in the first half of the year, according to a United Nations report this week that noted a sharp jump in casualties from air strikes.
Nematullah Temori, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor, said the 14 killed in the raid in Chardara, a district outside Kunduz city that has long been fought over between Taliban and government security forces, included women and children.
The incident underlined the risks from the increased use of air power under a US strategy designed to force the Taliban to accept peace talks. As well as conducting more air strikes of its own, the United States is also heavily assisting the fledgling Afghan air force.
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