Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Nato airstrike kills 90 including 40 civilians in Afghanistan

A police official in northern Afghanistan said a Nato airstrike on two hijacked fuel tankers killed 90 people, including 40 civilians.

Police and government officials in Kunduz Province say the blast occurred after the Taliban hijacked two trucks delivering fuel to Nato forces.

Chief of Police Gulam Mohyuddin said the trucks were hit by a Nato airstrike late last night.

Mr Mohyuddin said the Taliban were distributing the fuel to area villagers when the airstrike occurred. He said that 90 people were killed, including 50 Taliban and 40 civilians.

Nato confirmed that there was an airstrike in Kunduz Province overnight but gave no details.

Nato's chief said civilians may have been among the casualties in the pre-dawn attack in northern Afghanistan.

But Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today that Nato remained committed to protecting the Afghan people and to reducing to the lowest possible the number of civilian deaths by allied troops.

"Certainly a number of Taliban were killed and there is also a possibility of civilian casualties as well," the Nato Secretary General told reporters about today's attack.

An Afghan police officer said some 40 civilians were among the dead.

Mr Rasmussen said overall this year, the number of civilian casualties caused by Nato troops have dropped by 95%.

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