reported yesterday on the deaths of five women, seven children and six men in the Logar Province of Afghanistan. At the time there was mixed reporting, with Afghanistan stating that civilians had been killed, and NATO saying they merely took out Taliban militants and slightly wounded two civilians.
has for the first time publicly confirmed that civilians were killed in the strike.
Marine Gen. John Allen, who is currently in Logar province, spoke to a group of Afghanis gathered at a base in the provincial capital of Pul-i-Alam.
"I know that no apology can bring back the lives of the children or the people who perished in this tragedy and this accident, but I want you to know that you have my apology and we will do the right thing by the families," he said.
took place in the early hours on Wednesday, with NATO claiming it was targeting Taliban militants, as “insurgents attacked the Afghan and coalition troops with small-arms fire and a grenade” and alliance forces “returned fire and requested a precision airstrike."
President Hamid Karzai has condemned the strike, and has cut short a visit to China on hearing the news. He said in a statement that all 18 people killed were civilians.
Villagers have stated that there was a wedding at the house the evening before and that it was full of families visiting for the celebration.
According to a statement from the president’s office, “The president called this incident a great mistake and the murdering of Afghanistan’s children and women, and on behalf of the Afghan people gives his last warning to the US troops and US officials in this regard.”
According to a UN report, more than 3,000 Afghan civilians were killed in violence last year. The document attributed 14 per cent of those deaths to actions by international and Afghan troops.