Monday, May 30, 2011

NATO apologizes for civilian deaths in Afghanistan

Kabul .- NATO today issued a statement in which he apologized for killing civilians in a bombing aéreoregistrado last Saturday in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. "On behalf of the coalition offer our sincere apologies to the families and friends of the dead," he said in the text John Toolan, commander of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) .

In the statement, signed jointly by the head of ISAF, General David Petraeus, and his number two, General David Rodriguez, says that "the coalition is taken very seriously injured or killed every civil and try to prevent as the future such incidents. " According to information available to the ISAF forces, a coalition patrol was attacked by five insurgents in Naw Zad district, Helmand province, during which a Marine died.

Subsequently, five insurgents continued to attack from a nearby house, so that NATO troops sought help to neutralize the attack area, the report said. "Unfortunately, after the attack was discovered that the place where insurgents were holed up was actually the home of innocent civilians," the ISAF statement.

The report specified that NATO is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the exact details that led to the incident. The statement asked forgiveness for the deaths of nine civilians, but according to Afghan officials in the armed incident killed 14 people who were not part of the insurgent militia.

Civilian deaths are one of the usual friction between the Afghan government and international troops deployed in the country, about 150,000 soldiers. Human rights organizations attribute the Taliban most civilian deaths, but the Afghan authorities, with President Hamid Karzai at the helm, have both qualified as "unacceptable" civilian casualties in ISAF bombing.

On Saturday, Karzai's official visit to Turkmenistan, described what happened in Helmand as "serious error" and warned it made a "final warning" to NATO to preserve civilian lives. In a note, Karzai announced that he has asked his Ministry of Defense to cease operations "uncoordinated" of the ISAF in Afghanistan and take control of nocturnal activities.

According to the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 2,777 civilians were killed last year by the violence, which represents an increase of 15 percent compared to 2009.

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