NATO airstrike kills dozens in northern Afghanistan

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A NATO airstrike Friday blew up two fuel trucks hijacked by Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan, resulting in deaths.

There were conflicting reports about the number of casualties but CNN quoted government officials as saying at least 81 had died. Other reports put the toll as high as 90.

Witnesses said the tankers were hit at around 1:45 a.m. in Kunduz province. One of the vehicles was stranded in the river, so a crowd of villagers came down to the waterway to transport the siphoned fuel back to town. Then the warplanes struck.

NATO officials said the airstrike had targeted insurgents, but according to Afghan leaders, the attack killed many civilians.

Afghan police said the incident also caused over a hundred people injured including a 12-year-old child. Some of them have been taken to Kabul for treatment.

The confrontation highlights the growing insecurity in northern Afghanistan.