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US, NATO admit killing Afghan civilians

By
On
12 May 2012

KABUL (PAN):  US and NATO forces admitted recent airstrikes killed and injured several Afghan civilians and said the coalition takes full responsibility for the trageci incidents.

In a joint statement released by the US forces and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Friday, said a preliminary probe revealed their strikes had caused the deaths and injuries to Afghan civilians, but they did not mention casualty figures.

“The coalition takes full responsibility for these tragic and regrettable incidents, and we will meet with the family members of those who died or were injured to express our sincere condolences,” said the statement.

The statement referred to the coalition airstrikes on May 4th in PanKalay and May 6th in Nowbar villages. At least 20 people were killed in the two raids in both provinces when coalition forces targeted insurgents but instead hit civilians.

In southern Helmand province a mother and her five children lost their lives when NATO airstrike hit their house.

The coalition commander Gen John R.Allen would brief President Hamdi Karzai on the findings and the president will be assured that all appropriate actions would be taken to minimise similar attacks on civilians in the future, said the coalition forces. 

“Our deepest regrets and sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who died or were injured during coalition airstrikes. We must not allow these incidents to damage our shared goals of a peaceful and secure Afghanistan,” added the statement.

The attacks had angered Karzai’s administration, as the incidents occurred just days after Afghanistan and the US inked an important strategic deal over long-term security ties between both nations.

 

pr/ vp