A NATO air strike in northern Afghanistan blew up two fuel trucks early Friday, causing a massive explosion that is said to have killed up to 90 people, many of them civilians.
The German military called on a U.S. fighter jet to carry out the pre-drawn strike, after spotting fuel trucks that had been hijacked by Taliban militants. Afghan and NATO officials say the insurgents were driving the two vehicles to an unknown destination when they were discovered on a river bank in northern Kunduz province.
Provincial officials say the strike killed 56 Taliban militants and a large number of civilians. Local leaders say civilians had rushed to collect fuel from the trucks. NATO authorities say they are investigating claims of civilian deaths, and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen promised a full investigation.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement saying "targeting civilians is unacceptable" and said a government panel will investigate the air strike.