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Afghan reports claim militants or children killed

  • Story Highlights
  • Airstrike in western Afghanistan leaves many dead and conflicting reports
  • Interior Ministry says 50 children, 19 women, 7 men killed in Herat province
  • U.S.-led coalition says 30 militants died in raid to arrest Taliban commander
  • Little known about incident but coalition and Afganistan said airstrike was called
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(CNN) -- An incident in western Afghanistan has either killed 76 civilians, mostly children, or 30 militants, according to conflicting reports.

The Afghan Interior Ministry says the deaths occured during an airstrike and the U.S.-led coalition accepts an airstrike happened -- but there is disagreement over who was hit.

The Interior Ministry said 19 women, seven men and 50 children under 15 were killed in the Shindand district of Herat province and it has sent a 10-person team to investigate what happened.

It added that a number of civilians were wounded and some of them are in critical condition.

The U.S.-led coalition reported that during a raid with Afghan troops to arrest a Taliban commander 30 militants were killed.

It said insurgents used small arms and rocket-propelled grenades to fire on the soldiers who fought back with small-arms fire and called in an airstrike, killing 30 insurgents, including Taliban commander Mullah Sadiq.

Meanwhile, in eastern Afghanistan, a soldier in the U.S.-led coalition was killed in a roadside bombing, the U.S. military said in a statement that offered no further details.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Friday that Afghan and ISAF troops stopped insurgents from setting up roadside bombs Wednesday and Thursday on the Kabul-Kandahar highway.

Airstrikes killed several insurgents in both incidents, one near Ghazni city on Wednesday and the other in the Sayad Abad district of Wardak province, ISAF said.

Journalist Farhad Peikar contributed to this report

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