* Â Yep, Â they always say that. When they’re dead they’re ‘civilians’- but as long as they’re alive they burn girl-schools, kill infidels, crusaders and Jews for the glory of Allah and the 72 houris in Muhammads bordello:
Update:Â US coalition: 100 militants killed in Afghanistan
By JASON STRAZIUSO
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) â€” A four-day battle that began with an ambush on a joint U.S-Afghan patrol in southern Afghanistan has killed more than 100 militants, the coalition said Thursday.
Militants wielding rocket-propelled grenades, guns and mortars attacked the joint patrol in the southern province of Helmand multiple times starting Monday, the coalition said. The combined force called in fighter aircraft for support.Â
- Interior ministry: dozens killed in coalition strike
- 50 children, 19 women among the dead, it says
- Other ministries, US military dispute toll
A US-LED coalition military operation in western Afghanistan has killed 76 civilians, including 50 children and 19 women, the Afghan interior ministry said.
The coalition confirmed it carried out an operation that included air strikes in the western province of Herat but said 30 Taliban rebels were killed only and said it knew of no civilian deaths.
The Afghan defence ministry meanwhile gave yet another toll – five civilians and 25 rebels dead.
It was impossible to independently verify what happened in volatile Shindand district, but the conflicting reports highlight the difficulty in establishing facts in the mounting clashes between troops and rebels.
“Seventy-six people, all civilians and most of them women and children, were martyred during the operation by coalition forces in Shindand district of Herat province,” the ministry said.
The dead were “19 women, seven men and the rest children all under 15 years of age,” it said.
“The interior ministry, while expressing its profound regret because of this incident which happened by accident, has sent a delegation of 10 people to the area and more details will be announced once the investigation is completed”.
If the death toll is confirmed it would be one of the highest for civilians in the battle to fight the extremist Taliban, who were ousted during a US-led invasion in 2001.
The ministry said an unknown number of civilians were also wounded, with some of them in a critical condition.
The police chief for western Afghanistan, Akramuddin Yawer, had also said 76 people were killed in the incident and 15 houses were destroyed in strikes.Â “Taliban are included but their number is unknown,” he said.
But the coalition said 30 insurgents were killed in clashes and air strikes that followed an ambush on Afghan National Army (ANA) and coalition troops as they were going to arrest a Taliban commander.
“The ANA and coalition forces killed 30 insurgents,” it said, adding a “known” Taliban commander was among the dead.
Two civilians were wounded. “No other civilian or friendly casualties were reported,” the coalition said.
In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman could not account for the Afghan interior ministry claims, saying “the coalition remains confident in our reports that were released earlier today”.