Petraeus apologizes for NATO strike that reportedly killed nine Afghan children
A NATO airstrike that Afghan officials said Wednesday killed nine children collecting firewood in eastern Afghanistan the day before became the latest irritant in the tense relationship between President Hamid Karzai and the international force in the country.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top NATO commander here, issued an apology for an error that military officials attributed to faulty communication as an air weapons team responded to an attack on a NATO base Tuesday in Konar province.
“We are deeply sorry for this tragedy and apologize to the members of the Afghan government, the people of Afghanistan and most importantly, the surviving family members of those killed by our actions,” Petraeus said in an unusually contrite written statement. “These deaths should have never happened and I will personally apologize to President Karzai.”