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Four Afghans killed at NATO checkpoint

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Associated Press / July 27, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan - NATO forces fired yesterday on a vehicle that would not stop at a checkpoint in Afghanistan's volatile south, killing four civilians and wounding three others, the alliance said.

Civilian casualties have been a sore point between Afghanistan's government and international forces that operate here. President Hamid Karzai has implored NATO and US-led coalition troops to do more to avoid hitting civilians.

The latest deaths occurred in Helmand province in the south, the hub of the resurgent Taliban militant movement. NATO said the vehicle was directed to stop but drove on. NATO forces then fired warning shots but were "forced to fire at it when it refused to stop, fearing an insurgent attack," an alliance statement said.

NATO medical personnel took the wounded to a hospital. The dead were taken to their village by two civilians who were not hurt during the encounter.

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