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Afghanistan - Nato airstrike

Dozens killed in Nato airstrike

Article published on the 2009-09-04 Latest update 2009-09-04 14:35 TU

Wounded men are transported in a taxi to a hospital after the Kunduz airstrike(Photo: Reuters)

Wounded men are transported in a taxi to a hospital after the Kunduz airstrike
(Photo: Reuters)

An airstrike by international forces in Afghanistan has killed up to 90 people in the northern province of Kunduz. The Nato-led force is investigating claims that civilians are among the casualties.

As many as 90 people were killed, according to provincial government officials, who say that most of them were Taliban fighters.

But, they say, a "small number" of victims were civilians.

Local police chief Baryalai Basharyar Parwani says that more than 60 people were killed and wounded.

On Friday 18 bodies, many of them severely burnt, were buried in Yaqubi village. Local people say that the Taliban were distributing free fuel when the attack took place.

The Taliban have told journalists that they captured two trucks and had left one in the area. They claim that all the casualties were civilians.

Dozens of casualties were taken to hospital in Kunduz city.

The German army, which has soldiers based in Kunduz as part of the international force in Afghanistan, says that the airtstrike killed 56 Taliban.

"There were no civilian casualties. There were no German casualties," an army statement said.

Civilian casualties in international airstrikes are a sensitive issue in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai, who is awaiting results from last month's election to see if he has been returned to office, has several times protested about them to international force leaders and to Washington.