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Petraeus Apologizes for Civilian Deaths

By June Kellum
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 3, 2011 Last Updated: March 3, 2011
Related articles: World » South Asia
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ISAF Commander General David Petraeus speaks to the media after talks with German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on Nov. 23, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

ISAF Commander General David Petraeus speaks to the media after talks with German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on Nov. 23, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

U.S. Commander David Petraeus, leader of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, apologized Wednesday for the deaths of nine Afghan children in an air attack Tuesday.

The accidental deaths happened in a botched retaliation attack after insurgents fired at an American outpost in Kunar province.

The victims, all of whom were boys, were gathering firewood on a mountainside when they were hit.

The deaths elicited anger from Afghans, with dozens protesting in Kunar Wednesday, according to Voice of America.

Petraeus’ apology came hours Afghan president Hamid Karsai condemned the killings as “ruthless.”

Officials are now investigating whether there was a miscommunication between ground control and crews of the attack helicopters, according to media reports.

The incident has further jarred the already rocky standing of NATO with Afghanis. VOA reported that NATO forces killed as many as 64 Afghan civilians in separate attacks in February.




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