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Pentagon admits US airstrike may have killed Afghan civilians

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(Read caption) Afghan villagers sift through the rubble of destroyed houses after airstrikes on Tuesday.

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A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Pentagon officials say that an American airstrike was at least partially responsible for the deaths of Afghan civilians who were killed during fighting in western Afghanistan Monday, though officials say that initial reports of the death toll were "grossly exaggerated."

The New York Times reports that two Pentagon officials, speaking anonymously, admitted Thursday that at least some of the Afghan civilian deaths Monday were caused by American bombs.

Initial American military reports that some of the casualties might have been caused by Taliban grenades, not American airstrikes, were "thinly sourced," a Pentagon official in Washington said Thursday, indicating that he was uncertain of their accuracy.
"It looks like at least some of the casualties were caused by the airstrikes," the official acknowledged. A second Pentagon official said, "It wouldn't surprise me if it was a mix," but added that it was too soon to tell.

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