U.S.-Led Operation in Afghanistan Kills Seven Suspected Al Qaeda Operatives

A pre-dawn operation by U.S. and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan killed seven suspected Al Qaeda operatives and a child, a U.S. spokesman said.

Four other men were detained following a clash at a compound in the Asmar village of Kunar province that also wounded one woman, said Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick.

The woman was sent to a coalition medical facility for treatment, Fitzpatrick said. There were no coalition casualties, he said.

Another pre-dawn operation Thursday by U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan resulted in several civilian casualties, police said.

The operation took place in Kunar province's Shigal district at about 3 a.m. (2230 GMT), said Abdul Sabur Alluhyar, the deputy provincial police chief.

"We have a report that there have been civilian casualties, but we cannot say how many," Alluhyar told The Associated Press. He had no information on how the reported casualties were caused.

CountryWatch: Afghanistan

A U.S. military official said the report was being looked into and there were no immediate details on casualties.

Another police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, claimed the operation killed seven people and left three missing.

U.S. forces also detained four others, including a woman, and took them to an American base for questioning, said the official.

It was not immediately possible to verify his statement.

Last week, three U.S.-soldiers were killed and three others wounded in the province when their convoy hit a roadside bomb.

American forces are keeping up their hunt for Taliban fighters and extremists close to Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network in the area, and in recent weeks have been pushing further north along the remote mountains hugging the Pakistani border.