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Afghan Leader Says NATO Air Strikes On Houses Now Banned


Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on June 12.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on June 12.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says NATO-led coalition forces are no longer allowed to launch air strikes on the houses of Afghans, under any circumstances -- even in defense of Afghan and foreign troops.

Karzai said on June 12 he reached this understanding with the commander of NATO and U.S. forces, General John Allen, in talks after an air strike last week killed 18 civilians in Logar Province.

However, it appears NATO has a slightly different interpretation of what has been agreed.

The coalition says it has agreed to restrict air strikes against houses -- but that NATO aircraft will still fire at militants in or near dwellings in order to defend NATO-allied troops on the ground.

Repeated civilian casualties caused by NATO have stirred Afghan resentment against foreign forces.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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