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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Children Die in U.S. Airstrike

GHAZNI, Afghanistan -- A U.S. airstrike targeting a "known terrorist" in eastern Afghanistan apparently killed nine children, the U.S. military said Sunday, in what could be the latest in a series of military mishaps that has outraged the Afghan population.

The suspected Taliban militant was also killed in the attack, during which a U.S. A-10 aircraft struck a site south of Ghazni where the man was believed to be hiding Saturday morning, Army Major Christopher West said. Ghazni is 160 kilometers southwest of the capital, Kabul.

"At the time we initiated the attack, we did not know there were children nearby," he said from the U.S. military headquarters at Bagram, north of Kabul.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said in the capital that a former Taliban commander, Mullah Wazir, was the target of the attack, saying he "had bragged of his personal involvement in attacks on innocent Afghan citizens." Khalilzad said he was "deeply saddened" by the "tragic loss of innocent life," and had spoken to Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the incident.

Jawaid Khan, the Ghazni governor's secretary, had different casualty figures, saying that eight children and two men were killed. He said Wazir was not killed. "The Americans wanted to bomb Mullah Wazir, but they bombed a different house," Khan said. "The people there are very afraid. They have no idea why the Americans bombed their village."