Air strikes kill 21 in Afghanistan

Twenty-one civilians have been killed in two separate air strikes in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Air strikes in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province have killed 21 civilians, including women and children.

Mohammad Hashim Alkozai, a senator from Helmand, said 13 civilians were killed in one strike and eight in another.

Both air strikes were carried out late Friday in the Sangin district, where heavy fighting is continuing between NATO-backed Afghan forces and the Taliban.

Alkozai says at least five other people were wounded in the air strikes.

Omer Zwak, the provincial governor's spokesman, says insurgents fired on Afghan forces and he confirmed that air strikes had killed civilians but could not provide further information.

He says an investigation has been launched.

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