Accessibility links

Afghan President Promises 'Justice' to Villagers Hit by US Strike


Afghan President Hamid Karzai has promised "to bring justice" to villagers hit by a U.S. airstrike that Afghan officials say killed more than 90 civilians.

Afghan officials say Mr. Karzai met with elders and victims' families in the Azizabad village of western Herat province Thursday, saying he has tried for five years to prevent such incidents.

Villagers say false information about the presence of Taliban was given to coalition forces, prompting the strike. President Karzai has pledged to punish those responsible for the attack.

Both the Afghan government and the United Nations have said dozens of people - most of them women and children - died August 22, during the airstrike on the village.

The U.S.-led coalition on Tuesday issued a new report saying five to seven civilians were killed along with 30 to 35 Taliban militants.

Afghan officials say U.S. President George Bush expressed regret to Afghan President Karzai about the civilian deaths, during a conversation Wednesday by videoconference.

Separately, NATO says one of its soldiers was killed in an explosion today in southern Afghanistan. NATO did not release the soldier's nationality or details of the incident.

Also Thursday, officials say the chief judge of Afghanistan's counter-narcotics court, the Central Narcotics Tribunal, was shot and killed in the capital, Kabul, while on his way to work.

Judge Alim Hanif was working to bring influential drug traffickers to court to punish them for their crimes.

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world's opium, which is used to make heroin. Officials say powerful drug lords often are able to evade justice because of corruption.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG