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Norway criticizes civilian killing in U.S. bombing in Afghanistan
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19:57, August 25, 2008

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The Norwegian government on Monday criticized the killing of a large number of civilians in the U.S bombing of a village in Afghanistan last Friday, according to reports on Monday.

Every single civilian death in such an operation is most tragic and very serious, Norwegian State Secretary Espen Barth-Eide was quoted as saying by the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

The international forces depend on trust from the local population, and incidents like these are harmful to such relations, he added.

But he underlined that the international military presence in Afghanistan is necessary.

Norway has deployed about 500 soldiers in Afghanistan under the leadership of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

"The reason for our presence in Afghanistan is that it is very important to assist this nation in getting back on its feet after years of bloody war, and it is necessary with a continued military presence in the country," Barth-Eide said in a statement.

An airstrike of the U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan's Herat province last Friday killed 76 civilians, including women and children, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

Source: Xinhua

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