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Afghan president reiterates call on NATO to stop night operations

Other News Materials 25 December 2011 10:33 (UTC +04:00)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai reiterated his call on NATO-led coalition forces to stop night raid operations in his country, local TV channel Lemar reported on Sunday.
Afghan president reiterates call on NATO to stop night operations

Afghan President Hamid Karzai reiterated his call on NATO-led coalition forces to stop night raid operations in his country, local TV channel Lemar reported on Sunday.

"Afghan President Hamid Karzai once again called on NATO forces to stop night raid and search operations on Afghan houses," Lemar TV aired in its news bulletin, Xinhua reported.

Karzai's comments came after he heard back from a government- appointed team assigned to look into civilian casualties reported during recent NATO air and night time raids in country's Paktia, Kandahar and Kapisa provinces.

"Afghanistan will not sign a strategic partnership with the U. S. until NATO-led night raids and search operations on Afghan houses are stopped," Karzai was quoted as saying in the report.

In the latest raid, the NATO-led ISAF forces carried out a night operation in Gardez city, the provincial capital of eastern Paktia province on Friday Dec. 16 that left a woman dead and four others injured.

However, NATO has defended the night raids as the safest form of operations to take the Taliban leaders off the battlefield, while insisting it will continue the raids but with the increasing participation of Afghan forces.

It insists that in 85 per cent of night raids no shot is fired and they cause less than one percent of civilian casualties.

A total of 1,462 Afghan civilians were killed in the first half of 2011, according to the United Nations mid-year report released in Kabul in July.

The UN report attributed 80 percent of the civilian deaths in the first six months of 2011 to the attacks of Taliban insurgents and other armed groups.

Another 14 percent of the deaths were attributed to Afghan and NATO-led forces and 6 percent were unattributed.

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