03 Sep. 2008
PR# 2008-456

General McKiernan expresses sorrow for civilian non-combatant casualties and proposes joint approach to future enquiries

Kabul, Afghanistan - General David McKiernan as the senior military commander of international forces in Afghanistan has reviewed the Coalition investigation into allegations of civilian deaths resulting from an Afghan National Army and US coalition forces operation in western Afghanistan on 22 August and concurs with the findings.

“Every death of a civilian in wartime is a terrible tragedy" said General McKiernan," even one death is too many." He added, "I wish to again express my sincere condolences and apologies to the families whose loved ones were inadvertently killed in the cross fire with the insurgents in Azizabad.”

“We need to further improve our coordination between international military forces, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United Nations Assistance Mission Afghanistan for future incidents involving civilian casualties, because we cannot allow differences to provide an opportunity for insurgents to drive a wedge between us.”

“In the coming days I will propose a joint approach between GIROA, International military forces and UNAMA for any inquiries in the future relating to civilian casualties. Continuing to work together will bring about the defeat of insurgents who oppose the legitimate Government of Afghanistan. Together we will not allow the insurgency to win. The great people of Afghanistan deserve no less”.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/