Top US Commander Apologizes For Afghan Airstrike
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is apologizing to that country's president for a drone strike that killed a child. And NATO is promising an investigation.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, which also wounded two women yesterday. He said all airstrikes and foreign raids on Afghan homes will have to stop if the United States expects him to sign an agreement allowing thousands of American troops to stay in Afghanistan after next year.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have agreed on a draft agreement, and it was approved by a council of Afghan leaders. But Karzai announced he would not sign the deal, and would leave it instead to his successor after elections in April.
The Obama administration has been trying to persuade Karzai to change his mind and sign the deal by the end of the year, to allow time to prepare for a continuing U.S. presence after the NATO and U.N. mandates for foreign troops in Afghanistan expire at the end of next year.
The U.S.-led coalition said Thursday's airstrike had killed an insurgent on a motorcycle. Afghan officials said a child was also killed, and two women were injured.