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US, UN, and Afghanistan Launch Joint Investigation into US Air Strike

  • VOA News

The U.S.-led coalition, Afghan government and the United Nations have agreed to jointly investigate last week's U.S. air strike that witnesses say killed some 90 civilians in western Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the NATO-led force (Brigadier General Richard Blanchette) today (Saturday) announced the joint probe to clear up discrepancies in casualty figures.

The U.S.-led coalition has said five civilians and 25 militants were killed on August 22nd, when troops called in air strikes following an attack by militants in the village of Azizabad in Herat province.

Afghan officials dispute the number, saying 90 civilians, most of them children, were killed. The United Nations has said it found "convincing evidence" of the higher death toll after an on-scene investigation.

U.N. officials today confirmed that all sides had agreed to investigate the incident together.

NATO and U.S. military officials insist they take great care in targeting air strikes, but militants frequently hide in civilian areas.


Separately today, Afghan officials say international soldiers have survived a suicide bombing in the capital of Kabul. They say the bomber blew up his explosive-filled vehicle today, but failed to inflict any casualties on the troops or nearby civilians.

The U.S.-led coalition says its forces killed several militants in clashes and air strikes in Kapisa province, not far from Kabul. Officials say the fighting took place Friday, and that air strikes were called in after coalition forces came under attack.

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