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U-S Commander: Washington Trying to be Honest about Mistakes in War on Terror - 2001-10-24


The commander of U-S forces in the Gulf and Middle East says Washington is trying its best to be honest about civilian casualties in the military campaign against Afghanistan's Taleban movement.

General Tommy Franks, who heads the U-S Central Command, says the United States is trying to be open about military mistakes inside Afghanistan. He says U-S officials have been absolutely honest with people in the region and at home.

The general also says the issue of civilian casualties has not been a major topic during meetings with regional allies. He made his remarks to reporters after meeting with Bahrain's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa during the latest stop on a week-long tour of the region.

General Franks also said the Taleban is not telling the truth about civilian casualties from the air raids.

He declined to comment on whether the United States will continue military operations in Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in three weeks. But U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld previously has said the military campaign will not conform to any religious calendar.

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