Pentagon concedes ‘problems’ in Afghan airstrike

June 9th, 2009 - 10:38 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, June 9 (DPA) The Pentagon investigation into a US airstrike in Afghanistan last month that killed scores of civilians has concluded there were “problems” with how the attack was carried out, a spokesman has said.
US Central Command is expected to soon release the report of the May 4 incident in Afghanistan’s Farah province. The Afghan government said the strikes left at least 100 civilians dead - a number Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell didn’t dispute.

“There were some problems with some tactics, techniques and procedures or … the way in which close air support was supposed to have been executed in this case,” Morrell said Monday.

Morrell pointed out that the number of Taliban killed vastly exceeded the civilian loss, but said “the numbers in terms of Taliban killed and civilians who perished in this attack are very similar to those that the Afghan - some of the Afghan defence officials believe are accurate.”

US airstrikes have frequently killed Afghan civilians and been a source of tension between Washington and Kabul. Days after the Farah attack, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates expressed regret for the loss of innocent life but accused the Taliban of using noncombatants as human shields.

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