'230 civilians killed in US, NATO Afghanistan ops'

Goodwill toward foreign forces has faded since the fall of the Taliban five years ago because of air strikes and botched raids by US and NATO troops that have killed at least 230 Afghan civilians this year, aid agencies said. The complaint raised by an umbrella group for aid agencies follows reports of dozens of civilian deaths in recent days during fierce clashes sparked by a Taliban offensive in a key southern province. Insurgents pushed police out and took control of a neighboring district in Kandahar province. The spike in noncombatant casualties in the past several days - whether caused by foreign forces or the Taliban - has raised public ire toward President Hamid Karzai's government and the foreign soldiers sent to prop it up. Karzai has pleaded repeatedly for international forces to coordinate more closely with Afghan authorities in order to protect civilians near military front lines.