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Afghanistan/US presidential election

Karzai calls for end to civilian casualties

Article published on the 2008-11-05 Latest update 2008-11-06 10:07 TU

US soldiers watch a television program on the election in Bagram airbase north of Kabul(Photo: Reuters)

US soldiers watch a television program on the election in Bagram airbase north of Kabul
(Photo: Reuters)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai reacted to the election of Barack Obama as President of the US by calling for an end to civilian casualties and a change in strategy in the fight with the Taliban. Karzai's brother Wali, who is Governor of Kandahar province, says that several civilians were killed in an attack by foreign troops which hit a wedding party.

"My first demand from the US president, when he takes office, would be to end civilian casualties in Afghanistan and take the war to places where there are terrorist nests and training centres." said Karzai, as news of more alleged civilian casualties came through.

In  Kandahar province, according to Governor Wali Karzai, an air strike hit a wedding party, killing an unknown number of civilians. He says that the strikes were launched after Taliban guerrillas attacked troops near the village of Shah Wali Khot.

Kabul has not officially confirmed the claim.

The French news agency AFP reports that seven women and three children have been admitted to hospital in Kandahar and are reported to have been victims of the attack.

Five police were killed by a roadside bomb in Logar province, south of Kabul, on Wednesday.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was luke-warm about Obama's call for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan, when commenting on the election on Wednesday morning.

"I don't think that's the only solution, because I don't think that there will be a military solution in Afghanistan," he told RTL radio.

Declaring that a discussion with Obama about raising troop levels promises to be "very interesting", Kouchner called for more responsibility to be handed to the Afghan authorities.