Destroying The Village In Order To Save It

From Holden:

Hamid Karzai is not impressed by this time-honored American tactic.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged U.S.-led coalition forces on Monday to show restraint when attacking militants in residential areas after more than a dozen civilians and police died in two possible “friendly fire” incidents.

[snip]

[V]illagers complained that seven residents were killed Saturday when U.S. troops, backed by warplanes and artillery fire, targeted militants in a house and nearby cave in Kunar.

The military said it did not know if the seven were killed by artillery or air strikes or if they were caught in crossfire between U.S. soldiers and militants. U.S. authorities offered an apology to the families of the dead.

The deaths came a day after another possible friendly fire incident.

The Canadian-led military force in the south said Afghan police “reported casualties, some possibly caused by friendly forces,” during a Friday attack on rebels holed up in Sangisar, 25 miles southwest of Kandahar. Six police were killed along with 41 militants.

[snip]

Karzai ordered Afghan security authorities to conduct their own study of the deaths in the Kunar village, and he demanded that coalition forces take more care when targeting terrorists in residential areas.

“President Karzai was angered by the deaths of these seven people and demands the military use more restraint in future attacks against terrorists not to harm civilians,” said a statement released by his office.

Karzai’s government has previously complained about what he called heavy-handed tactics by U.S.-led troops. The coalition says militants often take cover among civilians during fighting.