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Afghan president apologizes for deadly airstrike

Airstrikes in Taliban-controlled area last month caused multiple civilian casualties

Afghan president apologizes for deadly airstrike

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan

In an unprecedented move, the Afghan government on Wednesday publicly apologized for the deadly airstrike in Kunduz province last month that claimed multiple civilian lives.

Condoling the loss of civilian lives with the grieving family members at the Arg (presidential palace), President Ashraf Ghani said unlike “conspirators”, the legitimate government in Afghanistan sees itself accountable and seeks apology for injustice towards the nation.

“The Afghan government, and especially the Ministry of Defense, seek apology from the families of the victims over this incident,” Ghani said while directing to erect a memorial for the martyrs, building a grand mosque at the site of the incident and extra care in airstrikes to avoid repeat of such tragedies.

Days after the Afghan forces’ infamous raid on a religious school on April 2, 2018 in the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced last week, the raid claimed at least 36 lives and wounded 71 more.

It noted there were at least 81 children among the victims, besides additional “credible information” indicating higher death toll.

The Taliban cited this deadly raid as one of the main reasons behind their newly launched annual spring offensives.

On Wednesday, President Ghani renewed his call for the Taliban to shun violence, and join peace process.

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