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Karzai condemns Nato air strike on civilians


Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday condemned as unacceptable a Nato air strike that killed 18 civilians and would cut short a trip to Beijing to return home, his office said.


“Attacks by Nato that cause life and property losses to civilians under no circumstances could be justified and are not acceptable,” Karzai said of the attack Wednesday in Logar.


Karzai “is deeply grieved” over the deaths of civilians in the Nato strike and in a Kandahar suicide bombing on the same day and “will shorten his trip to China and will very soon return to the country”, the palace said.


The president’s strong condemnation came as US defence secretary Leon Panetta was in Kabul to assess the state of the war and plans for the withdrawal of US troops.


Karzai is in Beijing for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.


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