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    Misconduct complaints to be probed: Kerry

    KABUL (PAN): Complaints of misconduct by Maidan Wardak residents against Afghans working for US special forces would be investigated, a top American diplomat promised on Monday.

    Foreign Secretary John Kerry held out the commitment during his first foreign trip on Monday, a day after President Hamid Karzai gave the US forces to quit the strategic province within two weeks.

    On Sunday, Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi told a media briefing in Kabul the decision was taken at a meeting of the National Security Council because of the alleged misconduct of Afghans linked to the US special forces.

    Faizi said: “We have received a plethora of complaints, with elders from Maidan Wardak giving President Hamid Karzai evidence of the forces storming people’s houses, torturing and killing the inmates.”

    Speaking to reporters in London, Kerry said: "With respect to Wardak province, I understand the concerns that they have expressed. And appropriately, any complaints that they may have ought to be appropriately evaluated, and they will be, I can assure you."

    He said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) should probe the allegations. But the NATO-led force says it has no evidence of troops’ involvement in the alleged misdemeanor. re

    According to foreign media reports, the foreign secretary said the US was working on a bilateral security arrangement with Afghanistan, “We're working on the (security) transition process. We've had a very good conversation with President Karzai in the last days."

    The 11-day trip will take Kerry, who took office on Feb. 1, to nine countries in Europe and the Middle East. He will visit Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

    PAN Monitor/mud