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NATO Air Strike in Afghanistan Claims Civilian Lives

This morning, an estimated 90 people were killed in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, when a NATO air strike targeting two fuel trucks caused a massive explosion. UN reports indicate that civilians made up dozens of those who lost their lives. MADRE condemns the apparent disregard exhibited by NATO and US military leadership towards the threats to civilians in the on-going usage of air strikes to attack Taliban targets.

Representatives at NATO today stated that, at the time of the attack, they believed there was no civilian presence. However, they have since learned that civilians were present. The air strike was purportedly intended to target the fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban, and NATO investigators are currently in Kunduz province to establish whether a "mistake" was made. NATO representatives have also indicated their intention to "apologize" should they determine that their actions ended civilian lives.

Yifat Susskind, MADRE Policy and Communications Director, said today, "The worn-out and twisted practice of issuing official 'regrets' or 'apologies' in the aftermath of such attacks has become a mantra. Again and again, we have seen the same scenario with the same tragic results for Afghan civilians. This indiscriminate killing is a known outcome of NATO air strikes, and to claim otherwise will only put more lives in danger."

MADRE calls for an end to the air strikes and to military attacks that destroy civilian lives.

To find out more about MADRE's work in Afghanistan, click here: /index.php?s=9&b=42

September 4, 2009  / Middle East