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Errant Bomb Kills 11 Afghan Civilians

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2003 – A tragic accident in Afghanistan today killed 11 civilians and wounded one, said Combined Task Force 180 officials.

A coalition bomb hit a home after an Afghan militia checkpoint came under attack in Shkin on the Pakistani border. Four militiamen were wounded in the attack.

A quick reaction force from Coalition Task Force 82 responded to the attack on the checkpoint, said officials. The checkpoint is very near the firebase in Shkin and about a mile and a half from the border.

The force spotted two groups of five to 10 enemy and chased them toward the border. The force requested air support, and Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers responded.

One Harrier engaged the enemy with cannon fire and the other dropped a 1,000-pound laser-guided bomb. That bomb missed the intended target and struck the house.

American forces medically evacuated all the wounded to Salerno air field where they are listed in stable condition.

The accident is under investigation, officials said.

Coalition forces also launched Operation Resolute Strike in Helmand province yesterday. More than 500 soldiers from the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division and special operations forces are participating in the operation.

The soldiers initially detained 41 people, but have since released 34.

They also recovered a number of weapons and some ammunition. The operation is continuing.

There are 9,000 American service members serving in Afghanistan, DoD officials said.

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