Code 57279
PublishDate: Thursday, February 14, 2013 13:48

New U.S. commander expressed regret over death civilians in Kunar province

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford met Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday and expressed regret over deaths of civilians.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford met Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday and expressed regret over deaths of civilians, the U.S. forces said in a statement.

"Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the commander U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, met today with President Karzai to provide his insights into the Afghan and Coalition forces partnered operation that was conducted on Wednesday in Shigal district, Kunar province. Gen. Dunford took this opportunity to express his personal condolences for any civilians who may have died or been injured as a result of the operation," the statement said.

Up to 10 civilians, including four women and five children, had been killed and five children wounded in an air raid attack against two compounds in the province 185 km east of Kabul, the provincial official told Bokhdi News Agency on Wednesday, citing an initial probe. However they said four armed militants were also killed in the incident.

"Gen. Dunford explained that the Coalition takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and that we are conducting an assessment of the circumstances surrounding this incident.

Gen. Dunford is committed to providing the results of that assessment to President Karzai once complete," the statement added.

Dunford assumed the command of more than 100,000 U.S. and NATO forces from his predecessor U.S. Gen. John Allen on Sunday.

The deaths of Afghan civilians by foreign troops during operations against Taliban have long been a contentious issue between the Afghan government and the U.S. and NATO forces stationed in the country.

The number of civilian casualties has been soaring in Afghanistan as more than 3,400 civilians were reportedly killed last year in the militancy-hit country.(Bokhdi News Agency)

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