Afghan probe into NATO airstrike clears German Army: Report

Last Updated: Friday, September 11, 2009 - 20:46

Kabul: The commission appointed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to investigate last week`s NATO airstrike on two fuel tankers that claimed dozens of Taliban and civilian lives has exonerated the German Army, which ordered the strike, a German television station reported on Friday.
Civilians were indeed among the victims, but responsibility for the incident lies with the Taliban, ARD television reported, citing investigators in the commission.

Members of the panel had returned to Kabul from the northern province of Kunduz, where the September 4 airstrike occurred, and planned to present their report Saturday to Karzai.

The Afghan investigators told the ARD that the Taliban had hijacked the two fuel trucks, which became stuck in the Kunduz River, causing militants and civilians to gather around them to remove their fuel, which is when the airstrike was carried out.

The German military said 56 Taliban militants died while the governor of the district where the bombing took place said 130 people were killed, including civilians.

The German military was cleared because the attack was carried out at the river and not in a village, the investigators were quoted as saying by ARD.

The Afghan investigators did not give a death toll.

A separate investigation is being conducted into the airstrike by NATO.

IANS



First Published: Friday, September 11, 2009 - 20:46

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