Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will ask U-S-led coalition forces to coordinate their operations with the Afghan Defense Ministry to avoid civilian casualties.
Mr. Karzai told reporters in Kabul Thursday that Afghan people should not be hurt by the international campaign against terrorism and Afghanistan's former rulers, the Taleban. He was referring to local reports that 40 civilians were killed in a U-S airstrike on villages in Uruzgan province last Sunday.
The U-S military says troops received reliable information that Taleban and al-Qaida operatives were in the region, and that they directed AC-130 gunships to hit what were believed to be the sites of anti-aircraft fire.
The governor of Uruzgan province (Jaan Mohammad) told reporters that he wanted the U-S military to hand over the "informers," saying thery had provided incorrect information that led to the attack.
A joint U-S-Afghan fact-finding team is visiting the region. A team spokesman (Major Gary Tallman) says the group is trying to determine how many villages were hit. He says the team has been asking local leaders to show the burial sites of the victims, but that so far only five graves have been shown.
The investigative team is expected to return to Kabul later today (Friday).
U-S officials have cautioned that it may take some time to determine exactly what happened the night of the air raid, news of which has angered many Afghans.