Major Luke Knitig, a spokesman for the international security assistance force, said 60 dead bodies had been discovered, but it was "very unclear" whether they were civilians or insurgents.
The possible civilian deaths, which a UN statement said were in the village of Nangawat, happened during Eid, the festival marking the end of Ramadan.
Bismallah Afghanmal, a Kandahar provincial council member, told the Associated Press that between 80 and 85 people had been killed. A villager, Karim Jan, said between 60 and 70 had died.
"It was late at night - that might be the reason they didn't know where to bomb," Agha Lalai, another member of the provincial council, told Reuters. "They have bombed residential houses."
Witnesses told Reuters that 25 homes were demolished during four to five hours of bombing.
Maj Knitig said Nato troops had been engaged in heavy fighting against insurgents in three separate incidents in Panjwayi on Tuesday. The battle included air strikes.
He said that while there was a confirmed insurgent death toll of 48, that number could eventually be as high as 70, adding that insurgents had been attacking bases providing security for aid projects in the area.
In a statement, the UN mission in Afghanistan said it was concerned by reports that a "great number of civilians may have died during the conduct of military operations".
Thursday, October 26, 2006
During post-Ramadan raids, according to The Guardian: