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Afghanistan: Karzai Calls For War Crimes Commission

Kabul, 9 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Hamid Karzai, the head of the interim Afghan government, and UN officials called today for a commission to investigate civilian killings and human rights abuses in Afghanistan. At a UN workshop on human rights, Karzai said he believes that a truth commission is needed to disclose more about atrocities committed.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson said that those who have committed atrocities in Afghanistan will not be given amnesty.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-led military campaign against Taliban and Al-Qaeda remnants near the eastern Afghan city of Gardez slowed down in snow and cold today, blocking all but two bombing sorties.

The U.S.-led coalition says it has killed more than 500 enemy fighters in what is described as the heaviest offensive in Afghanistan to date involving U.S. troops. Eight U.S. soldiers have died in the fighting.

From Pakistan today, unconfirmed news reports say that a U.S. warplane attacked one of two small trucks transporting civilians in Afghanistan's rural Paktika Province on their way to pray for the release of an Al-Qaeda supporter seized by U.S. forces. The reports say 15 passengers and the driver died in the attack on 7 March.