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Afghanistan-Nato: 30 civilians killed during Taliban fighting

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Thirty civilians have been killed in northern Afghanistan during an Afghan special forces mission supported by Nato, an Afghan spokesman says.

Provincial officials say many of the deaths were caused by Nato air strikes.

The air support was called in after troops were surrounded by Taliban militants, who took shelter in civilian homes, the spokesman said.

Nato says it will investigate reports of civilian deaths. Two US soldiers were also killed in the fighting.

“US forces conducted strikes in Kunduz to defend friendly forces. All civilian casualty claims will be investigated,” the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said.

Mahmood Danish, a spokesman for the governor of Kunduz province, told the BBC the operation took place in an area called Body Kandahari, about 5km (3 miles) from Kunduz city centre.

There were angry protests from civilians, who brought bodies of some of the dead to the governor’s office in Kunduz city.

Images showed the body of an infant girl being carried by a group of civilians.

Taza Gul, a 55-year-old labourer, said: “I am heartbroken. I have lost seven members of my family. I want to know, why these innocent children were killed? Were they Taliban? No, they were innocent children.”

A further 25 civilians were wounded in the operation in Kunduz, Mr Danish said, and 26 Taliban fighters were killed, including two commanders. The Taliban say only three of their fighters were killed.

The US military said its soldiers died after coming under fire during a mission to clear a Taliban position.

Two other US soldiers were wounded, it said. General John Nicholson said the soldiers’ loss was “heartbreaking”.

Taliban fighters came close to overrunning Kunduz city last month and the security situation in the area remains febrile. The insurgents control large areas of the province around the city.

US combat operations against the Taliban officially ended in 2014 but special forces have continued to provide support to Afghan troops.

Afghan forces have suffered thousands of casualties, with more than 5,500 killed in the first eight months of 2016.

24 Hours Across Africa

Inflation rate falls to 1.7%

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 The office for National statistics says the consumer price index is 1.7%-down from 2.1% – in August

Head of inflation at ONS Mike Hardie said: “The inflation rate has fallen noticeably into August, to its lowest since late 2016. This was mainly driven by a decrease in computer game prices, plus clothing prices rising by less than year after the end of the summer sales.

“Annual growth in house prices slowed to its lowest rate since September 2012, with four of the nine English regions now seeing prices falling over the year”.

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Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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