International

Karzai: Afghans 'Can No Longer Tolerate' NATO Strikes That Hit Civilians

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking earlier today (May 31, 2011) at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. i i

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking earlier today (May 31, 2011) at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Shah Marai /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Shah Marai /AFP/Getty Images
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking earlier today (May 31, 2011) at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking earlier today (May 31, 2011) at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Shah Marai /AFP/Getty Images

"Angered by civilian casualties, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses, issuing his strongest statement yet against strikes that the military alliance says are key to its war on Taliban insurgents," The Associated Press reports.

In the latest incident, AP says, "at least nine civilians were killed" Saturday in Helmand province during a NATO strike.

Karzai issued a vague warning that his nation "has a lot of ways of stopping it" if such strikes happen again.

Reuters adds that Karzai "warned NATO-led forces in Afghanistan on Tuesday they were at risk of being seen as an occupying force rather than an ally after a spate of civilian casualties, and said he would take unspecified 'action' if they continue." The wire service says that "the commander of ISAF troops in the region apologized for the deaths, saying the strikes on the compound had been ordered because insurgents were using them as a base."

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports this morning that "of all the statistics that President Obama's national security team will consider when it debates the size of forthcoming troop reductions in Afghanistan, the most influential number probably will not be how many insurgents have been killed or the amount of territory wrested from the Taliban, according to aides to those who will participate. It will be the cost of the war."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.