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Cabinet: Presence, operation of international troops in Afghanistan should be regulated
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08:31, August 26, 2008

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The Afghan cabinet in a statement released here on Monday called for regulating the authority and responsibilities of international troops in the war-torn country after the killing of some 90 civilians by the U.S.-led Coalition air strike in western Herat province.

"Authority and responsibilities of the international forces in the country must be regulated under both international and Afghan laws," the statement said.

"In the past five years, the Afghan government called for international forces to concern over civilian casualties during fighting with militants for several times," it said.

"Unfortunately, more civilians, including women and children, are losing their lives as a result of air raids by international troops," it noted.

Hence, the cabinet asked for a review of the presence of international troops in Afghanistan through a mutual agreement.

"International troops must stop air strikes on civilians, illegal detentions and unilateral house searches," it added.

Kai Eide, the special envoy of UN Secretary General to Afghanistan, on Saturday condemned the great civilians casualties by international troops and demanded thorough investigation.

Eide stressed in a statement that the United Nations has always made clear that civilian casualties are unacceptable and undermine the trust and confidence of the Afghan people.

According to locals, the U.S.-led Coalition forces in air raids carried out against the suspected hideout of militants in Shindand district of Herat province on Thursday night left more than 90 civilians dead, mostly children and women, while military sources said that 30 militants were killed in the air strikes.

International troops based in Afghanistan to hunt down militants had more than once committed such mistakes and harmed non-combatants and the repetition of the error has prompted Afghans including President Hamid Karzai to call on foreign troops to coordinate operation with Afghan authorities in order to avoid harming civilians.

More than 3,000 people including some 800 civilians have been killed in Afghan violent incidents so far this year.


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