News / Asia

Karzai Tells NATO Fight is Not in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is urging international troops to leave Afghanistan and take their fight across the border to Pakistan.

Mr. Karzai delivered his latest criticism of NATO efforts Saturday in Asadabad, the capital of eastern Kunar province, where he was visiting the relatives of civilians killed in a raid by international forces.

The Afghan leader said his government has shown NATO that the terrorists and militants are not in Afghanistan, but instead are hiding in neighboring Pakistan.

The French news agency quoted Mr. Karzai as saying that Afghans are a tolerant people but now "our tolerance has run out."

The topic of civilian casualties has been a sensitive one for Afghanistan and its Western allies.

Earlier this month, NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, apologized for an air strike that killed nine children in Kunar province.

The coalition blamed miscommunication for the deaths, but Afghan President Karzai warned NATO could face "huge problems" if the accidental killing of civilians does not stop.

Earlier this week, a report by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said there had been nearly 3,000 war-related civilian deaths in 2010, an increase of 15 percent compared to 2009.  

The reports said insurgents and militants were responsible for about 75 percent of the deaths.

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