Germany pays out to Afghan strike families: Ministry

Germany said on Tuesday it has paid out USD 430,000 to the families of 102 Afghans killed or injured in an air strike called in by a German commander on two hijacked fuel tankers last September.

Updated: Aug 10, 2010, 20:26 PM IST

Berlin: Germany said on Tuesday it has paid out
USD 430,000 to the families of 102 Afghans killed or injured
in an air strike called in by a German commander on two
hijacked fuel tankers last September.

"Every family affected received 5,000 dollars. This
measure is however not about compensation in the legal sense
but constitutes humanitarian assistance," the defence ministry
in Berlin said in a statement.

The September 4, 2009 bombing by US planes near the
northern Afghan city of Kunduz on two fuel tankers stolen by
insurgents prompted outrage in Germany, where polls suggest a
majority of people are opposed to the Afghan mission.

The defence minister at the time resigned, while armed
forces chief of staff and another senior defence official quit
after pressure from the minister`s successor, Karl-Theodor zu
Guttenberg, who called the strike "militarily inappropriate."

A report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights
Commission (AIHRC) put the number at 102 killed or injured,
the ministry said, reportedly including 91 dead. It did not
say how many non-insurgents were among the casualties.

NATO said at first 142 people were killed, reportedly
including dozens of civilians. The operation has also been the
subject of a parliamentary enquiry in Germany.

Germany is the third-largest contributor of foreign
troops in Afghanistan after the United States and Britain,
with around 4,500 soldiers in the relatively peaceful north.
Thirty-nine soldiers have died.

PTI