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PAN, December 7, 2011

French soldiers acknowledge killing civilians

The soldiers had mistakenly fired the rocket, the district chief said

By Bakhtar Safi

A French soldier from the 1st Regiment Marines Infantry (RIMA) fires an anti-tank grenade from an assault rifle FAMAS
A French soldier from the 1st Regiment Marines Infantry (RIMA) fires an anti-tank grenade from an assault rifle FAMAS during a training session at the Forward Operating Base Tora in Surobi district on September 24, 2010. (Photo: Joel Saget / AFP / Getty Images)

Officials in the central province of Kapisa on Wednesday said French soldiers had acknowledged killing and wounding civilians in a rocket strike earlier in the week.

Six civilians were killed and three others wounded on December 3, when a rocket fired by ISAF soldiers hit a civilian house in the Haibatkhel area of Tagab district..

Initially, Governor Mehrabuddin Sapi had ruled out the involvement of NATO-led soldiers in the incident. But a provincial council member, Najibullah Rahimi, had claimed the rocket was fired from a joint base of Afghan and foreign soldiers.

According to Abdul Hakim Akhundzada, the administrative head of Tagab district, the French soldiers had admitted to civilian casualties.

The soldiers had mistakenly fired the rocket, the district chief said. "The French troops are sorry for the attack, saying such incidents will not recur in the future."

Category: US-NATO, HR Violations - Views: 7966