Gates: Despite warning, Karzai knows US is an ally

June 1, 2011 09:24

HONOLULU - Afghan President Hamid Karzai recognizes that the United States is a friend and ally even as he warns that civilian casualties in Afghanistan risk making US-led troops appear to be an occupying force, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday.

Gates, who spoke to reporters in Hawaii while en route to an Asian security conference, was reacting to Karzai's statement on Tuesday that raids on Afghan homes in pursuit of insurgents are "not allowed" and his threat to take action if a spate of civilian casualties does not stop.

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