4 Afghans, 3 NATO troops killed in holiday attacks

Targeted killings of Afghan civilians have surged this year, according to the United Nations. Civilian deaths from targeted killings and assassinations jumped 34 percent for the first six months of 2012 to 255, from 190 in 2011, the United Nations said in a report issued earlier this month.

The U.N. report said 1,145 civilians were killed and 1,954 injured during the first half of the year, most of them by militants.

Also on Sunday, officials said that an airstrike by coalition forces in the northeast killed a large group of Taliban fighters and a local insurgent leader. At least two dozen insurgents were killed in the attack in Kunar province,  Maj. Martyn Crighton, a NATO forces spokesman, said.

Kunar Gov. Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi said the strike killed as many as 50 insurgents who had massed in a remote area of the province. He said it was not clear why they had gathered.

Amir Shah reported from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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