Joint Afghan, NATO team to investigate alleged killing of civilians in Kunar province

16:56, February 21, 2011      

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A joint investigation team consisting from representative of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan Ministry of Defense and Interior Ministry left for Kunar province Monday morning to probe into alleged killing of scores of civilians caused by NATO, ISAF spokesman said.

"I can assure you that we take every allegation of civilians casualties very serious, and in this case we fully support President Hamid Karzai who wants to investigate this incident," Brigadier-General Josef Blotz told a weekly press conference here.

However, he said "At that time and location of the alleged civilians casualties incident couple of days ago airborne intelligence and coalition helicopters identified clearly armed insurgents massing in a remote area for meetings," Blotz added.

"The evidence viewed to date has shown no evidence of children at all at night of Feb. 17, when the operation happened," he asserted.

"You may know 100 percent of every helicopter missions is recorded, video recorded" he noted, adding the video clearly shows armed men reacting.

According to media reports Fazlullah Wahidi governor of Kunar province 185 km east of capital Kabul on Sunday said that NATO-led forces operations had left 65 people dead including civilians and anti-government militants over the past four days.

Responding a query over establishing of U.S. permanent military bases in Afghanistan, Gen. Blotz said that NATO and ISAF are not working for permanent bases in Afghanistan.

Source: Xinhua

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