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Afghans protest in Kabul over civilian deaths
1. September 2008, 02:07

Reuters - Hundreds of protesters blocked a road in Kabul on Monday accusing U.S.-led troops of killing three members of a family, including two children, in a raid in the city, residents and witnesses said.

NATO and U.S. military officials could not be reached for comment on the allegation, the latest in a string of incidents that have angered Afghans and caused a split between the Afghan government and foreign troops.

Residents said U.S.-led troops carried out a pre-dawn raid in Hud Kheil area in the eastern quarter of Kabul, killing Noorullah and two of his sons, one of whom was eight months old.

"It was past one o'clock when the troops came and surrounded our houses," said Sulaiman, a resident.

"They threw hand grenades on one house and killed three family members," he said. Noorullah's wife was wounded, he said.

Local television showed footage of bodies and a damaged house.

"Are these two children al Qaeda?" an angry resident asked as the bodies were taken for burial. "We don't expect anything from the government because we don't have a government," Sulaiman said.

Several U.S. and NATO military bases are located in the area. Three people were taken away by the troops, residents said.

Angry demonstrators burnt tires on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway which links Afghanistan with Pakistan.

President Hamid Karzai last week ordered a review of foreign troops in Afghanistan after his administration said 96 civilians were killed in an air raid by the U.S.-led coalition in western Herat. The U.S. military said it had targeted militants and that an investigation was being carried out.

More than 500 civilians have been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces against the militants so far this year, according to the Afghan government and some aid groups.

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