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Afghanistan's interior ministry says US-led forces killed 76 civilians in an operation on Wednesday in the west of the country, directly contradicting the US military which said 30 suspected Taliban had died.
"Seventy-six people, all civilians and most of them women and children, were martyred during the operation by coalition forces in Shindand district of Herat province," the ministry said on Friday.
"Nineteen women, seven men and the rest children all under 15 years of age," were killed in the operation, the statement said.
The ministry said it would be one of the highest civilian deaths tolls in the battle against the Taliban since they were ousted from power during the 2001 US-led invasion.