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Afghan civilians die in coalition bombing

  • Story Highlights
  • Eight civilians killed in coalition airstrike on suspected Taliban, military says
  • Raid also left 25 suspected militants dead
  • Attack followed abortive ambush on coalition troops
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(CNN) -- U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan said Monday that eight civilians were killed when coalition aircraft bombed a compound not knowing that the suspected Taliban militants they were targeting had taken "hostages" including young children.

The attack, which also left 25 militants dead, took place following an abortive ambush on a coalition convoy route by suspected Taliban in central Oruzgan province, a military statement said.

After the attack, the militants "fled into a neighboring compound where they held 11 non-combatants hostage, including several children and an infant," the coalition said.

Three survivors found at the compound were given medical treatment after the fighting ended, it said.

"The Taliban uses innocent civilians' homes, taking them by force to attack Afghan and Coalition forces," said Juma Gul, the Head Provincial Police Chief of Oruzgan.

"If civilians get killed during these attacks, the responsibility falls on the Taliban and their terrorist sponsors."

Dozens of civilians have died during operations by international troops targeting Afghan villiages with airstrikes, many of them in recent months.

More than 60 people, mostly women and children, died in air raids targeting rebels in eastern Afghanistan in early July. One of strike hit a wedding party.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai earlier this year criticized British and American troops for driving up civilian casualties by targeting villages instead of suspected Taliban camps in neighboring Pakistan.

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