5 July 2005 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said today that he is "extremely saddened and distressed" by the death of 17 civilians in a U.S. air strike.
Karzai made his announcement in Kabul today through his spokesman, Jawed Ludin.
Ludin said there can be no justification for killing civilians. He added that the government has launched its own probe into the 1 July bombing of the village of Chichal in the eastern province of Konar.
The U.S. military says an unclear number of "enemy terrorists and noncombatants" died in the strike on what it called a known terrorist target.
Earlier, the U.S. military declined to comment on media reports that two members of an elite U.S. military team that went missing in Konar last week are now known to be dead.
A U.S. helicopter sent to aid the team was shot down the same day, killing all 16 U.S. soldiers aboard.
Governor Says U.S. Warplanes Killed 17 Aghan Villagers