Residents say death toll among Afghan civilians is understated

WORLD DIGEST

May 11, 2007|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

HERAT, Afghanistan -- The number of civilians killed in bombing by foreign forces Tuesday night was much higher than the official figure of 21 and might rise as high as 80, residents reached by telephone said yesterday.

The residents' tally differed from that given by Ezatullah, a government administrator of the Sangin region who uses one name. He said he had spent four to five hours in the village of Sarwan Qala yesterday and that the civilian death toll remained 21.

The U.S. military has stood by its original statement, in which it said it called in the airstrikes on Taliban insurgents after a 16-hour battle and destroyed three militant compounds.

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