Afghan President Blames U.S. Airstrike for 10 Deaths

Associated Press
Friday, August 18, 2006

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 17 -- President Hamid Karzai condemned a U.S. airstrike Thursday that Afghan officials said killed 10 border policemen.

"I have repeatedly asked the coalition forces to take maximum caution while carrying out operations," he said in a statement, adding that such incidents "must not be repeated."

Gen. Abdul Rahman, Afghanistan's deputy chief of border police, said a coalition airplane killed 10 policemen in two trucks in the southeastern province of Paktika. No one survived the strike.

The U.S. military released a statement saying it was looking into the report but believed an aircraft had destroyed two trucks that soldiers on the ground said were involved in an attack on a U.S.-Afghan patrol. An Afghan policeman was killed and a coalition vehicle was damaged in that clash.

In Paktika province Wednesday, a U.S. military vehicle hit a Soviet-era land mine, killing one soldier, the military said, ruling out enemy action.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber drove an explosives-packed car into a joint U.S.-Afghan army convoy on the main Kandahar-Kabul highway in Kandahar province, seriously wounding one U.S. soldier, officials said.

A purported Taliban spokesman asserted responsibility for the attack and said the bomber was Afghan.

Insurgents will continue with "suicide bombings, guerrilla warfare and ambushes" against the United States and its allies in Afghanistan, said Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, a self-described Taliban spokesman.

In nearby Uruzgan province, a suicide bomber targeting a NATO patrol instead killed one civilian and wounded six others, a NATO spokesman said.

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