UN probes Afghan deaths

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The United Na­tions is in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims that up to 32 civil­ians were killed in a US airstrike in the volatile Afghan prov­ince of Kun­duz last week, call­ing any loss of civil­ian life “un­ac­cept­able”. The strike early last Thurs­day trig­gered an­gry protests in Kun­duz, with lo­cal of­fi­cials say­ing at least 30 peo­ple had been killed, many of them chil­dren whose mu­ti­lated bod­ies were pa­raded through the streets by griev­ing rel­a­tives. Civil­ian ca­su­al­ties caused by NATO forces have been one of the most con­tentious is­sues in the 15-year cam­paign against the in­sur­gents, prompt­ing strong pub­lic and gov­ern­ment crit­i­cism. US forces have con­ceded that the strike “very likely” re­sulted in civil­ian ca­su­al­ties and pledged a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent. A State Depart­ment spokesman called it a “ter­ri­ble event”. The killings came just days be­fore the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, in which Afghanistan has re­ceived scarcely a pass­ing men­tion-even though the sit­u­a­tion there will be an ur­gent mat­ter for the new pres­i­dent.

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