U.S. investigation rejects stories of Afghan air strike casualties

KABUL (Reuters) – A U.S. investigation into stories of civilian casualties attributable to an air strike close to the northern metropolis of Kunduz final month concluded that there was no substance to the allegations, the U.S. army mentioned on Friday.

The investigation was launched final month following stories that as many as 14 civilians had been killed in an air strike supporting an operation by Afghan safety forces in Chardara district, exterior Kunduz metropolis on July 19.

“After fastidiously contemplating all related and fairly accessible data, which included a overview of the Afghan authorities’s report of findings, our investigation discovered no credible data to corroborate the allegations,” U.S. Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman, mentioned in a press release.

“U.S. Forces-Afghanistan takes all allegations of civilian casualties critically. Should any additional credible data turn out to be accessible, an investigative physique will reconvene to re-review this allegation,” the assertion mentioned.

Afghan authorities officers mentioned final month that as many as 14 civilians had been killed however mentioned that the causes of their deaths was unclear.

An announcement from the U.S. army final month confirmed that U.S. forces had carried out strikes in help of Afghan-led floor operations however mentioned that its on-the-ground evaluation gave no indications that that they had brought on civilian casualties.

According to U.N. figures, civilian casualties from air strikes rose by 52 % within the first half of the 12 months following a pointy soar within the variety of aerial operations launched underneath a U.S. technique geared toward forcing the Taliban to just accept peace negotiations.

Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Alison Williams

Original article http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/sWOwzt_KZHA/u-s-investigation-rejects-reports-of-afghan-air-strike-casualties-idUSKBN1KV1X2

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