90 Killed in NATO Air Strike in Afghanistan: Probe Pledged

At least 90 people, including civilians, were killed when a NATO air strike hit a fuel truck in northern Afghanistan on Friday morning, said officials.

Media reports quoted Kunduz provincial officials as saying that a majority of the dead were Taliban militants.

In the meanwhile, NATO officials confirmed that they instructed the air strike to aim Taliban militants who had taken two fuel truck hostages. But they said that they were probing if the strike killed any civilian.

Local officials in Kunduz provincial also confirmed hijacking of the trucks by Taliban militants who brought them to a village in the Aliabad district, near Afghanistan’s northern border with Tajikistan. The officials said that militants invited villagers to collect fuel from the trucks when a bomb struck.

The incident throws light on the growing insecurity in northern Afghanistan.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into an air bombing that killed dozens of people in Afghanistan.

“The Afghan people should know that we are clearly committed to protecting them and that we will fully and immediately investigate this incident,” Rasmussen told reporters.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the United Nations and Afghan government are all investigating reports of civilian casualties as accounts emerged of horrific injuries.

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