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Errant NATO bomb kills 2 civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan — A NATO bomb missed its target by more than 1½ miles and hit a house Tuesday, killing two Afghan civilians and wounding 10 at a time of rising tension between the Afghan government and international troops over the use of airstrikes.

In a separate incident in eastern Afghanistan, a roadside bomb killed an Afghan contract worker and three soldiers in the U.S.-led coalition, the coalition said. Details were not immediately available.

NATO said its weapon malfunctioned Tuesday in the eastern Khost province. The bomb's target was a spot used by insurgents to fire rockets.

"An immediate investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched, and further details will be forthcoming once established," the statement said.

Because of Afghanistan's mountainous terrain and few roads, foreign troops rely heavily on air power to combat Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

But airstrikes have been blamed for a series of civilian deaths, and President Hamid Karzai is pushing for a review of the use of U.S. and NATO air power.

The mistaken NATO bombing came amid a dispute over a U.S. and Afghan special forces operation in the western village of Azizabad on Aug. 22.

Afghan and U.N. officials say some 90 civilians were killed in a U.S. special forces operation in the village of Azizabad on Aug. 22.

The United States has said up to seven civilians were killed but is reinvestigating the incident after video images of victims came to light.

U.S. Central Command in Tampa said Tuesday it had appointed Brig. Gen. Michael W. Callan, a senior military officer, to investigate the combined Afghan-U.S. operation in Azizabad, taking into consideration the new information that has become available since the completion of the initial American investigation.

Two separate airstrikes in Afghanistan's south and east killed more than 27 militants, including Chechen fighters, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

Errant NATO bomb kills 2 civilians 09/09/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:25pm]
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