Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling for the US and NATO to cut back on air strikes in the battle against Taliban and al-Qaida militants, saying too many civilians have been killed.
Karzai said that six years after the US-led invasion, the Afghan people "cannot comprehend as to why there is still a need for air power."
"The United States and the coalition forces are not (killing civilians) deliberately. The United States is here to help the Afghan people," Karzai said on the US news program "60 Minutes" for a story scheduled to air Sunday night.
At least 700 civilians have died because of insurgency-related violence this year, and about half of those deaths have been blamed on US or NATO military action, often because of air strikes hitting civilian homes, according to an Associated Press tally based on numbers from Afghan and Western officials.