Fifteen villagers, including nine children, were killed in a bombing raid on a hamlet in which US forces appeared to have mistaken an ageing jeep for a military vehicle, the owner said.
Mohammed Khan, who arrived here from Kandahar for hospital treatment to his wounded arms and legs, said that five of his children were killed when the hamlet was attacked on Tuesday.
All five houses which made up the hamlet between Kandahar airport and the city were demolished in the raid. A neighbor lost four children in the attack, Khan said.
Khan's wife Farooqai has still to regain consciousness after the attack, he added.
"It was only because of my jeep," Khan told AFP. "It is for my own personal use and to transport villagers to the city.
"It is a very old vehicle. I have been using it for years."
Khan's claim could not be independently verified.
Sites in and around Kandahar have come under increasingly relentless attack from US warplanes in recent days.
Opposition forces trying to oust the Taliban from their stronghold have also been closing in on Kandahar airport, backed up by US aerial bombardments from planes and helicopters, opposition supporters said Sunday.
Claims of civilian casualties have been increasing as the bombing raids intensify.
One Kandahar resident who spoke to AFP here Sunday said that 14 people had been killed when two other vehicles were hit close to the city on Saturday.
The Afghan Islamic Press claimed Saturday that at least 30 civilians were killed when US warplanes bombed vehicles travelling on the road between Kandahar and Spin Boldak, but the US Central Command in Washington dismissed the claims as "rumours".
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