At least 23 dead in Afghanistan bombing

July 6, 2008 at 1:01 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, July 6 (UPI) -- At least 23 people were killed in Afghanistan Sunday when coalition aircraft dropped bombs that exploded near a group walking to a wedding party, officials say.

Local authorities said the 6:30 a.m. bombing in the Deh Bala district, a remote area in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, claimed the lives of men, women and children, CNN reported. Another 10 people were injured, the U.S. network reported.

The attack came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has begun an official inquiry into another U.S. military strike Friday against suspected militants that allegedly killed 15 civilians.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan denied having received reports of civilian casualties in Sunday's military strike, The Times Online reported.

"We have had no reports of any non-combatants killed or injured in this incident," said 1st Lt. Nathan Perry. "This may just be normal, typical militant propaganda."

The U.S. military issued a statement, saying "intelligence revealed a large group of militants operating in Deh Bala district. Coalition forces identified the militants in a mountainous region and used precision air strikes to kill them."

Haji Amishah Gul, governor of Deh Bala, told the Times just two of the dead were men. The rest, he said, were women and children.

"The bride is among the dead," he said.

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