KABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai says both Taliban insurgents and the U.S. military are to blame for an airstrike that killed 17 people, including a dozen children, during a fierce battle in eastern Afghanistan.
Karzai made his comments in a statement Saturday after an Afghan investigation into the April 6 attack raised the civilian death toll from 11 to 17, including 12 children, four women and one innocent man. An American civilian adviser was also killed during the fighting.
The Afghan report says the U.S. strike occurred after the Afghan intelligence service came under attack by militants during an operation to arrest two insurgent commanders in the Shigal district of Kunar province. The area is a major infiltration route for insurgents from sanctuaries in northwestern Pakistan to Afghanistan.