Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed a preliminary U-N report alleging a U-S coverup of evidence of civilian casualties during an air raid one month ago.
Mr. Karzai told reporters in (the city of) Kandahar that the preliminary report contained misinformation that would be corrected in the official version. Mr. Karzai declined to identify the errors or say what the formal report's conclusions are.
The United Nations has given its report on the July 1st airstrike to Afghan and U-S authorities, who are conducting their own investigations. A Times of London (newspaper) report late last month said the preliminary U-N report suggests that evidence of civilian casualties may have been suppressed. U-N officials have denied that their investigators were pressured to falsify their conclusions.
Afghan officials say 48 civilians were killed and more than 100 others injured when a U-S Air Force gunship fired on a wedding party in Uruzgan province. U-S officials have admitted there were some civilian casualties from the incident, but claim their troops were attacked by anti-aircraft fire during a search for former Taleban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar. No trace of anti-aircraft guns were found. The Afghans say the wedding party was observing a traditional custom of firing weapons into the air to celebrate.