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Afghan Commission Says 30 Civilians Killed in NATO Strike


An Afghan government-appointed commission says 30 Afghan civilians were killed and nine wounded in a NATO air strike earlier this month in the northern province of Kunduz.

One investigator in the commission, Mohammadullah Baktash, says 69 Taliban also were killed when a German commander ordered the strike on Taliban militants who had seized two fuel trucks.

Initial NATO investigations had already indicated that civilians were among the victims. The commander of the NATO mission, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, has appointed a board to conduct a thorough investigation into the events that led to the strike.

In related news, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says his goal during the next four years is to lay the foundations to withdraw foreign forces from Afghanistan.

German media Sunday quoted Steinmeier as saying he is developing an exit strategy. He did not provide details or dates for withdrawal.

Germans go to the polls to select a new government September 27.

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

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