AFGHANISTAN, March 13, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says international troops should leave Afghanistan and take their fight against terrorism across the border into Pakistan.
As reported by VOA News on Sunday, Mr. Karzai delivered his latest criticism of NATO efforts Saturday in Asadabad, capital of eastern Kunar province, where he was visiting relatives of civilians killed in a raid by international forces.
The Afghan leader said his government has shown NATO that the terrorists and militants are not in Afghanistan, but instead are hiding in neighboring Pakistan.
The French news agency quoted Mr. Karzai as saying that Afghans are a tolerant people, but by now , “Our tolerance has run out.”
The topic of civilian casualties has been a sensitive one for Afghanistan and its Western allies.
Earlier this month, NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, apologized for an airstrike that killed nine children in Kunar province – the result of miscommunication, according to the coalition. Mr. Karzai has warned that NATO could face “huge problems” if the accidental killing of civilians does not stop.
A joint report this week by the U.N. mission in Afghanistan and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says there were nearly 3,000 war-related civilian deaths in 2010 – an increase of 15 percent over 2009’s toll. The study concluded that insurgents and militants were responsible for about 75 percent of those deaths.
Meanwhile, NATO said two of its troops died Saturday, one in eastern Afghanistan and another in southern Afghanistan. NATO has a policy of not releasing names and nationalities of members of the force. (*)