Four UN workers killed in US raids

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The Independent Online

At least four Afghan United Nations workers were killed in last night's US raid on Kabul.

Officials at the scene this morning said the victims were UN workers who cleared anti–personnel mines in Kabul, one of the world's most heavily mined cities.

The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld said the deaths were regreted but that there was no information whether the damage came from the air or as a result of "ground ordnance".

The mine–clearing office was located in a building near a Taliban radio tower.

Doctors at Kabul's Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital said a fifth man was treated and released.

Mohammed Afzl, who said his brother was killed, sat this morning in front of the collapsed two–story building where the office was located, waiting for bulldozers to clear the rubble.

"My brother is buried under there," he said. "What can we do? Our lives are ruined."

Stephanie Bunker, U.N. spokeswoman in Pakistan, quoted coordinator Mike Sackett , saying: "The UN.coordinator for Afghanistan appeals to the international community to protect innocent civilians from military attacks."

"People need to distinguish between combatants and those innocent civilians who do not bear arms," she said quoting his statement.