Afghan president orders inquiry into NATO air strike deaths

August 7, 2011 16:45


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KABUL - Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation on Sunday into a NATO air strike that killed eight civilians in the volatile south of the country, adding more fuel to an already contentious issue between Kabul and foreign forces.

Violence is at its worst in Afghanistan since US-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government in late 2001. While there have been high levels of foreign troop deaths, Afghan civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict.

Gulab Mangal, governor of southern Helmand province, said on Sunday that a NATO air strike on Friday killed the eight civilians, including women and children. They were members of an insurgent's family, he said, and the insurgent, described as a bomb maker, was also killed in the incident.

Karzai has appointed a team to investigate the case, the presidential palace said in a statement.

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