The NATO command in Afghanistan Tuesday brushed aside President Hamid Karzai’s demand for a halt to air strikes and night raids on Afghan homes.
Karzai issued the demand in the face of mass popular outrage over a US air strike that killed 14 civilians—10 of them children and two of them women—in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on the night of May 28. It was only the latest in a series of atrocities carried out by American forces that have resulted in mass civilian casualties.
Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, the Afghan president declared, “From this moment, air strikes on the houses of people are not allowed.”
Karzai continued by warning: “If after the Afghan government said the aerial bombing of Afghan houses is banned and if it continues, then their presence will change from a war against terrorism to an occupying force. And in that case, Afghan history is witness to how the Afghans deal with occupying forces.”