NATO promises quick probe on Kandahar massacre
KABUL (PAN): The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Monday assured a through and rapid probe into Sunday’s ugly massacre in southern Kandahar, which riled up Afghans after widespread anger over desecration of copies of Quran earlier.
“ISAF offers its profound regret and deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We pledge to all the noble people of Afghanistan our commitment to a rapid and thorough investigation,” ISAF spokesman, Gen. Carsten Jacobson, said at a weekly press conference in Kabul.
A US soldier reportedly attacked civilian houses before dawn on Sunday in the Zang Khan area of Panjwai district, killing 16 civilians, including women and children, and injuring five others.
NATO’s civilian spokesman, Dominic Medley, also present at today’s briefing, said Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen offered his deep condolences and sympathy to families of the victims and the people of Afghanistan over the tragic incident.
“I fully support General Allen's commitment to establish the facts and hold accountable anyone responsible for the incident”, Medley said, quoting Rasmussen.
“We remain firmly committed to our mission of building a strong and stable Afghanistan, together with our Afghan partners,” Rasmussen said.
Meanwhile, ISAF commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, said: “I assure the noble people of Afghanistan launching an urgent and accurate investigation into the shooting.”
“Such acts do not represent our feelings, respect and values for Afghans,” he said, adding the incident would not affect the cooperation and coordination between ISAF and Afghan forces.
On Sunday, US President Barack Obama telephoned President Hamid Karzai and promised a speedy investigation into the killings.
Lawmakers on Monday closed the Wolsi Jirga, lower house of parliament, in protest against Sunday’s shooting, saying the Afghans have run out of patience with foreign troops’ arbitrary actions.
Karzai on Sunday said the killings were intentional and could not be forgiven.
The Taliban have warned of revenge attacks against the killings.
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