Afghan president sacks senior army commanders

August 25th, 2008 - 2:36 am ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Aug 25 (Xinhua) Afghan President Hamid Karzai Sunday sacked two high ranking military commanders for concealing facts on Friday’s deadly attack against the militants that killed at least 89 civilians, officials said. The attack took place in Shindand district in Afghanistan’s southwestern province of Herat. Among the dead included women and children.

The US-led coalition forces bombed the hideouts of militants in the district, leaving dozens of civilians dead. The Afghan military said at least 30 militants were also killed in the air strikes.

The president through a decree sacked two high ranking military commanders involved in the Friday’s operation, a statement from the presidential press office said.

“Major General Jalandar Shah, commander of the Zafar Corp and Major Abdul Jabar, commander of a Commando Battalion, were dismissed for neglecting their duties and concealing the facts of huge civilian casualties,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, President Karzai ordered the defence ministry to conduct a probe into the incident.

The president has extended his condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims of the tragic incident, according to the incident.

Kai Eide, the special envoy of the UN secretary general to Afghanistan, Saturday condemned the killing of the civilians and demanded a thorough investigation.

He said: “The UN has always maintained that civilian casualties are unacceptable and undermine the trust and confidence of the Afghan people.”

More than 3,000 people, including civilians, have been killed in insurgency related violence so far this year in Afghanistan.

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