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Bomb hit on Afghan minibus kills 14

A roadside bomb destroyed a crowded minibus Thursday in western Afghanistan, killing 14 passengers who were all members of an extended family, a provincial official said.

Rafi Behrozan, the spokesman for the Herat governor, said four others were wounded in the powerful blast in the Kushk Kuhna district of Herat province.

Two additional bombs found nearby on the same road were defused by Afghan policemen, he added.

“The explosion was very strong and the vehicle was destroyed. The majority of these aboard were killed,” Behrozan said.

Also Thursday, NATO said a coalition airstrike the previous day killed four Afghan soldiers after they were mistaken for militants.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the soldiers had left their base in Helmand’s Musa Qala district on Wednesday night when they came under fire from NATO planes.

NATO told the Afghan government that the coalition thought the men were militants, he added.

A spokesman for NATO forces, Capt. Ciro Parisi of the Italian army, said a team has been sent to investigate the incident. He would not confirm any of the details of Azimi’s account, citing the ongoing investigation.

There have been other incidents this year in which NATO troops mistakenly killed Afghan forces.

In August, three Afghan policemen were killed in northern Jowzjan province in an airstrike aimed at insurgents who were attacking them. In July, In July, a botched NATO airstrike killed six Afghan soldiers in Ghazni province in the east. The coalition said the Afghan army unit gave the wrong location to international forces.

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