France urges 'full light' on NATO air strike

5th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

France said Friday "full light must be shed" on a NATO air strike in Afghanistan that may have killed as many as 90 people in the north of the country

Paris - France said Friday "full light must be shed" on a NATO air strike in Afghanistan that may have killed as many as 90 people in the north of the country.

"All light must be shed as quickly as possible on the circumstances of this incident and its toll," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Paris is backing "demands of a probe made by the UN secretary general and the UN mission in Afghanistan.

"We express our great concern after reports of a large number of casualties following an air strike by the International Security Assistance Force this morning in Kunduz province in the north of Afghanistan," the statement said.

"The international community and NATO are in Afghanistan to assist and protect Afghans," it added.

"In a difficult environment international forces act so as to avoid as much as possible the loss of human lives."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office said 90 people were killed and hurt. Police and the interior ministry put the toll at 56 Taliban killed and 10 more wounded when the NATO air strike blew up two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban en route from Tajikistan to Kabul.

Civilian casualties during Western military operations in Afghanistan are hugely sensitive and a major source of tension with the Afghan government.

The UN says nearly two-thirds of 828 civilians allegedly killed by pro-government forces in Afghanistan's conflict last year died in air strikes.

AFP / Expatica

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