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Karzai says Afghan forces can't request airstrikes

Afghan National Army officrs pose for pictures with Afghan President Hamir Karzai (C) during a conference at the National Miltary Academy in Kabul on February 16, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will issue a decree banning Afghan security forces from asking international troops to carry out airstrikes under "any circumstances."

Saturday's announcement comes amid anger over a joint Afghan-NATO operation this week that Afghan officials say killed 10 civilians, including women and children, in northeast Kunar province.

Civilian deaths have been one of the most divisive issues of the 11-year-old war, although the U.S.-led coalition has implemented measures to mitigate them.

Karzai says U.S. commander Gen. Joseph Dunford told him that Afghan forces requested the airstrike.

The Afghan president says he plans to issue a decree on Sunday, saying that Afghan security forces can no longer request plans from the U.S.-led coalition to carry out operations on Afghan homes and villages.

 

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