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    7 civilians among 32 killed in Logar operation

    PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): Seven civilians were killed as a result of an airstrike in the Baraki Barak district of central Logar province, an official claimed on Wednesday.

    The operation was conducted to free three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers abducted by the Taliban on the outskirts of Pul-i-Alam. Two of them were rescued on Tuesday while a third was killed by the captors.

    Women and children were among the civilians killed in the air raid that wounded several others, the provincial council head, Dr. Abdul Wali, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Some of the victims succumbed to their injuries on their way to hospital, because foreign forces had blocked roads to the district centre, he alleged.

    But the district chief, Eng. Mohammad Rahim, said four civilians were killed and as many wounded. Twenty-four fighters were also killed and 40 others detained by security personnel, he added.

    Meanwhile, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the airstrike but said the casualties had resulted from the Afghan-led ground operations on Mar 25-26 in the district.

    “ISAF takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously. We are looking into the incident to determine what happened,” the NATO-led force said in a statement.

    Twenty-five insurgents were killed, according to the statement that said only one civilian was killed and five others were injured.

    A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, acknowledged the loss of 15 fighters in the village, saying 28 security personnel had been killed in clashes.