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Five civilians were killed Thursday in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, during an operation targeting the Taliban in the Giro District, U.S. military officials said Friday.

The operation targeted an alleged Taliban coordinator of foreign fighters.

According to a military news release, troops approached a compound and "were threatened by several armed militants. The force responded with small-arms fire, killing the militants and inadvertently killing four women and a child located with them."

Four other children were in the compound but were not injured, the release read. "Several" alleged militants were killed and three people were detained.

"The Coalition regrets the death of these non-combatants," Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green, a coalition spokeswoman, said in the release. "We are planning to conduct a full and thorough investigation."

The military said bomb-making materials were found in the compound and destroyed.

Also, during a search of the area, a military working dog bit a woman on the arm, officials said. She was examined by coalition medical personnel.

As fighting in Afghanistan has escalated, more incidents involving civilians casualties have been reported. According to Afghan officials, at least 130 civilians have been killed by U.S. or NATO forces so far this year. And, according to The Associated Press, nearly 500 have been killed in attacks by Taliban and other militants.


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