U-S military officials have promised a full and formal investigation into a U-S airstrike a week ago that mistakenly killed and wounded civilians in central Afghanistan.
The head of coalition forces in Afghanistan, American (Lieutenant-) General Dan McNeill says witnesses and officials in Uruzgan province report 48 civilians were killed and 117 wounded in the incident. Those reports have been accepted, although the general said a joint U-S - Afghan investigating team was unable to see the bodies or independently confirm the casualties.
Speaking (Saturday) in Kabul, General McNeill said the investigation of the Uruzgan bombing also will focus on finding a way to prevent any attack on innocent civilians in the future.
The American commander said American warplanes attacked a suspected Taleban and al-Qaida location in the central Afghanistan province after coming under anti-aircraft fire. Uruzgan residents say villagers were firing rifles into the air to celebrate a wedding -- a local custom.
Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Abdullah, who took part in the Kabul news conference with General McNeill, said such tragic attacks against civilians must be avoided. However, Minister Abdullah stressed that Afghanistan and the United States are still cooperating fully in the military campaign against remnants of the Taleban and the al-Qaida terrorist network.