NATO will not launch air raids near homes, Karzai says
Afghan president Hamid Karzai said NATO has consented to cease conducting airstrikes in residential areas after 18 civilians were killed during a recent raid in the eastern province of Logar, Reuters reported.
Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, apologized for the killings that happened during a joint operation with Afghan forces on Wednesday.
Karzai met with Allen and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker and called airstrikes a violation of a strategic partnership agreement between Afghanistan and the United States, Reuters reported. As the mjority of NATO and U.S. combat forces prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, they have increased operations in the south and east of the country, Reuters reported.
During the raid in Logar, U.S. and Afghan forces came under fire while going after a local Taliban leader holed up in a village home, The Associated Press reported. They fought back, and the Americans called in an airstrike; a move that Afghan officials contend was carried out without Afghan authority.
Only later did troops discover that in addition to insurgents, the airstrike killed women, children and old men who had gathered at the for a wedding party, AP reported.