U.S.-Led Coalition Denies 76 Afghan Civilians Died in Airstrike

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A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition forces denied reports Friday that 76 Afghan civilians were killed in western Afghanistan.

SFC Christopher Peavy denied the reports coming from the Afghan Interior ministry, saying the operation, carried out along with the Afghan National Army, killed 30 insurgents around 2:30 a.m. local time and wounded only two local nationals.

The civilians, Peavy said, were taken to a coalition medical facility for treatment, and no other civilian or friendly casualties were reported.

According to the Interior Ministry, coalition forces bombarded the Azizabad area of Shindand district in Herat province on Friday afternoon, killing 19 women, seven men and 50 children under the age of 15, Reuters reported.

"Seventy-six civilians, most of them women and children, were martyred today in a coalition forces operation in Herat province," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry called the bombing a “mistake.”

The operation was launched after an intelligence report that a Taliban commander, Mullah Siddiq, was inside the compound presiding over a meeting of militants.

Siddiq was one of those killed during the raid, Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, Gen. Mohammad Zaher Azimi, said.

A roadside bomb in the country's east, meanwhile, killed a U.S. coalition service member on Friday, the U.S. military said in a statement. The coalition did not provide other details on the incident or the victim's nationality.

Separately, Afghan and international troops clashed Thursday with militants in Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province, killing 11 militants, said provincial police Chief Juma Gul Himat.

Three Afghan troops were wounded in the fight, Himat said.

Authorities recovered the bodies of the dead militants, he said.

While most of Afghanistan's violence affects the southern and eastern regions that border Pakistan, militants have also been active in western areas bordering Iran.

In another clash Thursday involving airstrikes, the U.S.-led coalition said its forces killed "multiple militants" in the northern Kapisa province.

The operation in Tagab district targeted a Taliban commander involved in weapons smuggling and suicide attacks against Afghan and foreign troops, the coalition said.

Tagab is close to where militants killed 10 French troops on Tuesday in the deadliest ground attack on foreign troops since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001.

More than 3,400 people — mostly militants — have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to figures from Western and Afghan officials.

FOX News' Justin Fishel, the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.