KABUL Jan 6 NATO's British forces were on
Tuesday checking a report that some civilians were killed
during an operation against the Taliban insurgents in
Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, a spokesman said.
Hundreds of Afghans were been killed in air strikes and
raids by foreign troops last year, undermining public support
for the presence of international forces and leading to a rift
between President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers.
The latest incident happened in Baghni district on Monday
night when, according to a provincial government source, five
members of a family were killed in an operation by British
No further details were given by the official.
"We are looking into this," Major Steve Melbourne, a
spokesman for the British forces in Helmand, said by phone.
Nearly 700 civilians were killed up to October last year in
raids by foreign and Afghan forces, an Afghan rights body said
last month, quoting a U.N. estimate.
(Writing by Sayed Salahuddin; Editing by David Fox)