Afghanistan Demands Immediate Control of US Prison

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a NATO airstrike that he says killed eight children in eastern Afghanistan.

Mr. Karzai ordered a probe into Wednesday's coalition strike in the Nejrab district of Kapisa province.

The Afghan leader on Thursday assigned a delegation to investigate the NATO bombing and offered condolences to the victims' families.

The French News Agency quotes a NATO spokesman who could only confirm that a joint assessment team has been dispatched to “identify” a “situation.”

The issue of civilian casualties caused by coalition operations has been a source of tension between President Karzai and NATO.

A United Nations report released last week said more than 3,000 civilians were killed in 2011– the worst death toll in the decade-long Afghan war.

The U.N. (Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)) said insurgents were responsible for 77 percent of the Afghan civilian deaths and that the number of deaths caused by foreign and local forces dropped by 4 percent.

Also Thursday, the Afghan government again demanded that control of a U.S. – run prison be immediately transferred to Afghan authorities.

During a meeting chaired by President Karzai, senior judicial officials ordered a commission to implement the full transfer of the U.S. detention center near Bagram Air Base within one month — by March 9.

President Karzai last month called for the transfer to occur by February 5. His office said Thursday that close to 600 inmates were either released or transferred to Afghan authorities, but the handover of the facility has yet to take place.

Last month, an investigative commission appointed by Mr. Karzai accused the United States of abusing and torturing Afghans held at the prison, located north of the capital, Kabul. U.S. authorities said they would investigate the claims.