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World Briefing / Afghanistan

Mayor says raid killed cook, driver

March 23, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Five suspected militants were killed in northern Afghanistan in a joint raid with Afghan troops, the U.S.-led coalition said. But a mayor in the area said that it was his house that was targeted and that the dead included his cook and driver.

The military statement said one militant was killed in the initial assault on a compound in Kunduz province, close to the border with Tajikistan. The other four died after troops were "engaged with small-arms fire" after telling civilians to leave the buildings.

Abdul Rahman Akhtash, the deputy provincial police chief, said about 300 people gathered to protest the raid. Civilian deaths in coalition raids are an increasingly sensitive issue for President Hamid Karzai in the fight against the Taliban and other militants.

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