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AFGHANISTAN: Civilian deaths questioned

President Hamid Karzai said he was asking NATO to explain why three members of the family of a former Afghan senator were killed in an operation by international forces. NATO said two of the dead were women. Karzai's office said two other members of Sameh Jan Sherzad's family were detained in the operation in the pre-dawn Sunday in Chaki Wardak district, eastern Wardak province. The U.S.-led coalition has grappled with fallout from other such raids, but insists such operations are necessary to cement security gains and to target key insurgents. NATO said it would "cooperate fully" with the government to "assess the incident." The coalition said it occurred when a combined Afghan and NATO force was searching the area for a Haqqani network leader responsible for attacks on Afghan officials. In Faryab province in the north, a suicide bomber targeting an intelligence official killed only a schoolboy, 8. Sayed Ahmad Sadaat, head of the Faryab branch of the National Directorate of Security, survived and was in fair condition.


PAKISTAN: 9 soldiers, 14 insurgents die

Paramilitary forces raided a militant hideout in the rugged tribal region near the Afghan border Monday, sparking fighting that killed nine soldiers and 14 insurgents. The raid took place in Akka Khel village in the Khyber tribal area. The Pakistani Taliban have frequently clashed with security forces in Khyber.


YEMEN: 18 killed in San'a fighting

Fighting between troops loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh and rival forces Monday killed 18 people, including eight supporters of a powerful tribal chief who defected to the opposition in March. The pre-dawn fighting, the worst in San'a in weeks, revived fears of civil war. Mortars, rockets and heavy machine-guns were used in the hours-long battle in the city's northern sector close to the international airport. Explosions shook the city for hours. Fighting throughout the night briefly stopped for dawn prayers, then resumed. It ceased by sunrise.

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