Afghanistan: UN investigates deadly air strikes
Nov.7, Kabul: The United Nations said it was investigating an incident in which more than 30 civilians were killed in US air strikes called in support of a special forces raid on suspected Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said at least 32 people had been killed and 19 wounded in the strikes in the village of Buz Kandahari near Kunduz, the vast majority women and children.
The deaths add to a growing civilian casualty total in Afghanistan, where 95 have been killed and 111 injured in the past week alone, according to UN figures.
"The loss of civilian life is unacceptable and undermines efforts toward building peace and stability in Afghanistan," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.
"When conducting aerial operations, international military forces should take all feasible measures to minimise civilian harm, including full analysis of the context for aerial strikes," he said in a statement.
The US military acknowledged on Saturday the air strikes had probably caused civilian casualties and promised an investigation. The top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, expressed deep regret for the loss of innocent life.
The Oslo Times International News Network