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Afghans accuse United States forces of killings

KABUL, Afghanistan — Hundreds of Afghans blocked a major highway south of Kabul on Tuesday, carrying freshly dug-up bodies they claimed were victims of torture by US special forces and demanding the Americans be arrested, officials said.

A spokesman for the US-led military coalition said the allegations are false.

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The three bodies were dug up Tuesday morning near a former US special forces base in Nirkh district, according to Attaullah Khogyanai, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Six other bodies were unearthed there in the past few weeks.

Khogyanai said an investigation was underway but that it was too soon to say if the three were among at least nine people who villagers say disappeared into American custody and were never seen again.

The United States has repeatedly denied accusations that people arrested by special forces in Wardak Province died in American custody. However, villagers accuse the Americans and their Afghan partners of intimidation through unprovoked beatings, mass arrests, and forced detentions.

‘‘We are absolutely confident, based on the investigations that we have done, that neither US nor coalition forces were involved in any unlawful deaths there,’’ coalition spokesman Colonel Thomas Collins said Tuesday.

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