5 killed in Afghan operation targeting bomb-maker

An overnight raid conducted by US coalition troops and Afghan special forces killed five militants during a mission against the leader of a roadside bomb-making cell south of Kabul, a US spokesman said Saturday. However, a spokesman for the governor of Logar province said five civilians were killed in the operation. US spokesman Col. Greg Julian denied that claim and said militants fired on the combined force after American and Afghan troops ordered them to surrender. "They were five armed militants that fired on a joint force ... when they went in to get a targeted individual," Julian said. "They called them out when they arrived and these guys came out shooting and were killed in the process." The fact that Afghan special forces were on the raid is a significant step that helps insulate the US military against charges of killing civilians. Afghan troops typically have not taken part in such operations.