Karzai to decree ban on foreign air-strike assistance during Afghan ops

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Afghan president says under ‘no condition’ will security forces be allowed to request Nato aerial bombardments

Afghan security forces will be banned from calling for Nato air strikes in residential areas to help in their operations, President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday, three days after 10 civilians died in such a strike in the east of the country.

Nato air strikes and civilian casualties have become a significant stress point in the relationship between Karzai and his international backers. The issue threatens to further destabilise a precarious international withdrawal, which is due to be completed by the end of 2014.

Addressing a conference at Kabul’s National Military Academy, Karzai expressed his anger about the strike and said he would issue a decree on Sunday preventing any resort to such measures by his forces. Speaking to more than 1,000 officers, commandos and students, he said: “Tomorrow, I will issue an decree…

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