President Hamid Karzai alleged that coalition forces killed a former local official in southern Afghanistan and arrested six members of his family. A statement released by Karzai's office said the president called Helmand provincial governor Gulab Mangul after learning that Haji Ibrahim, the former chief of Gereshk district, had been killed on Monday. The governor confirmed the incident and told Karzai that Ibrahim and his relatives were innocentthat they were not insurgents, the statement said. "President Karzai ordered the governor to talk with NATO to clarify the situation and report back to the palace," the statement said. NATO had no immediate comment on the allegation. Earlier this week, the coalition said that a joint Afghan and NATO patrol killed one insurgent and detained numerous other suspected militants in an operation that was targeting an insurgent leader in Nahri Sarraj district of Helmand. The target was a Taliban bomb-making expert known to have orchestrated attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, NATO said. Acting on tips from local residents, the patrol went to a compound associated with the target. During a search, troops killed an insurgent with a grenade who attempted to attack the force, NATO said. The coalition found bomb-making equipment and Afghan authorities detained several suspected insurgents. Also on Thursday, NATO reported that three coalition service members had been killed by bombs and insurgent fighting in the south and east, both areas that have seen heavy fighting since 30,000 American reinforcements arrived. One service member was killed by insurgents Thursday in the south and another died in a roadside bomb blast in the east. A third service member was killed Wednesday, also in a roadside explosion, in the south. The military coalition did not release details of the deaths, or disclose the nationalities of the service members killed. They are the first three NATO troops killed so far this month; 55 died in November. Also on Thursday, Afghan and coalition forces detained numerous suspected insurgents during two security operations in the south and east. On Wednesday, militants seized 16 Afghan demining experts in Nangarhar province near the Torkham border crossing into Pakistan. They released nine of the deminers hours after the ambush, but were still holding the seven others, said Fazel Wahab, from OMAR, an Afghan humanitarian group working to find and dismantle homemade bombs. NNI