Merkel Regrets Civilians’ Death in NATO Air Strike in Afghanistan
After death of civilians in a NATO air strike in Afghanistan, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merket has said that she “deeply regrets” any loss of innocent life.
However, Merkel told parliament that Germany’s mission in Afghanistan remained necessary.
The air strike ordered by a German commander has been widely criticized.
After visiting the scene, US General Stanley McChrystal, the chief of international forces in Afghanistan, concluded that civilians were killed in strike. According to the independent Afghanistan Rights Monitor group, upto 70 civilians died in the raid in Kunduz province.
In a speech to parliament on Tuesday, Merkel said: “Every innocent person killed in Afghanistan is one too many.”
“Any innocent person killed or hurt, including through German actions, I deeply regret.”
“It is important to me as German chancellor to express this today, and to the Afghan people, and I think I say this in all your names,” Merkel told MPs.
The incident took place on Friday after US jets, on German request, dropped bombs on two oil tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban militants. In the strike, many people were killed.
Promising a thorough probe into the matter, Merket said: “I will ensure that we will not put a gloss on anything.”
Germany’s mission in Afghanistan is opposed by many Germans, and the controversy has piled pressure on the government less than three weeks before general elections.