Afghanistan: NATO forces probe claim of civilian airstrike deaths

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KABUL (CNN) — International forces in Afghanistan are investigating reports that civilians were killed in air strikes in the eastern province of Nangarhar, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said Saturday.

The strikes Friday in Behsud District targeted five enemy combatants, but an initial investigation did not confirm any casualties, Tech. Sgt. Peter Dean said.

A spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province said at least five people were killed following an NATO airstrike late Friday in Jalalabad.

The victims were sitting outside in their garden enjoying some relief from the heat when a helicopter came overhead and killed all five of them, spokesman Ahmed Zia Abdulzai said.

He could not confirm if those killed were civilians or insurgents.

The incident sparked a demonstration Saturday in Jalalabad to protest NATO’s action, Abdulzai said.

By Ahmed Bukhari

CNN’s Christabelle Fombu contributed to this report.