Kabul condemns civilian casualties in NATO air strike

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Kabul, Feb.22 (ANI): The Afghan government has severely condemned Sunday's NATO air strike in the Daykundi region which killed 33 civilians.

A statement issued by the decision-making council of ministers, which is headed by President Hamid Karzai, described the missile hit as 'unjustifiable'.

"Initial reports indicate that Nato fired Sunday on a convoy of three vehicles in Gujran district of the province of Daykundi, killing at least 33 civilians including four women and one child and injuring 12 others while they were on their way to Kandahar," the statement said.

Earlier, NATO had said that General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the US led international forces in Afghanistan has already apologised to Karzai for the incident.

It is worth mentioning here that the NATO troops launched a massive offensive against the Taliban and other extremist groups in Afghanistan's Helmand province earlier this month.

About 15,000 NATO and Afghan troops are taking part in the offensive around Marjah, which has an estimated 80,000 inhabitants and was the largest town in southern Helmand province under Taliban control.

The Marjah offensive is the biggest joint operation since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan and is a major test of a new NATO strategy to focus on protecting civilians, rather than killing insurgents. (ANI)

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