KABUL: Hundreds of people took to the streets in a town in northeastern Afghanistan on Thursday in protest over a night raid by Afghan and Nato forces that allegedly killed six civilians, an official said.

A woman and a child were among the dead in the air and ground raid on Dewa Gul Vally, a Taliban stronghold in the Chawki district of Kunar province, on Monday night, provincial governor Fazlullah Wahidi said.

'The raid was not coordinated with us. Those killed were civilians, among them a woman and a child,' Mr Wahidi said. 'Now the people are demanding justice.

Angry protesters in Chawki chanted slogans condemning both Nato forces and the Afghan government as theymarched through the centre of the district, he added.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Kabul confirmed there was an operation in the area on Monday and said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties.

President Hamid Karzai had sent a delegation to investigate the incident, his office said in a statement, adding that witnesses confirmed six civilians were killed.

US-led coalition troops and Afghan special forces launch regular kill-and-capture raids under cover of darkness against suspected Taliban.

But repeated allegations of civilian deaths have provoked criticism from Mr Karzai and anger among the Afghan public.-AFP

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