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Karzai raises issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan

May 07, 2009 01:40 IST
Angry over the killings of more than 100 people in the United States' air strikes in Afghanistan this week, President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said such casualties has been resulting in resentment of people in his country.

"We hope we can work together towards reducing and eventually completely removing the possibilities of civilian casualties, as we move ahead in our war against terrorism, or in our struggle against terrorism," Karzai said in his statement at the start of the second trilateral meeting between the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Karzai made this observation as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regretted the deaths of about 100 civilians in US air strikes in Afghanistan's Western province of Farah.

"I wish to express my personal regret and certainly the sympathy of our administration on the loss of civilian life in Afghanistan. We deeply regret it. We don't know all of the circumstances or causes," Clinton said.

She also announced a joint US-Afghan investigation into the incident. "Any loss of innocent life is painful. I want to convey to the people of both Afghanistan and Pakistan that we will work very hard, with your governments and with your leaders, to avoid the loss of innocent civilian life. We deeply, deeply regret that loss," Clinton said.

Karzai committed to work together with Pakistan to bring in more confidence, more trust, and a working environment in which the two neighbours together can wage a more effective struggle against terrorism and the violence that radicalism causes, both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, and the danger that they pose to America and the rest of the world.

Urging Pakistan to count on his country in this war against terrorism, he said Afghanistan and Pakistan are conjoined twins. "Our suffering is shared. Our joys are always shared. The life that we live is affected by the opportunities that we have and the lack of opportunities that occurs, because of the circumstances in which we live today," he said.

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