KABUL — An explosion Sunday killed seven Afghan villagers as they tried to pull bodies of dead insurgents from the rubble of a village mosque after a night raid by NATO and Afghan troops, officials said. Four insurgents and an Afghan soldier were also reported killed in the operation.
Night raids have long been a contentious issue between Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who says he does not want coalition troops in villages, and the NATO alliance, which says they are key to capturing Taliban commanders.
Even though Sunday’s deaths came hours after the troops left, locals were quick to protest against the US troops that operate in the area.
‘‘Death to America!’’ one man shouted as he shook his fist in an Associated Press video. The villagers displayed the bodies of the dead wrapped in blankets and sheets.
The predawn operation in Sayd Abad district was aimed at capturing a Taliban fighter who had holed up in a village, said Wardak Province spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.
The international and Afghan forces captured the militant but came under attack from insurgents.