KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is apologizing to that country's president for a drone strike that killed a child. And NATO is promising an investigation.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, which also wounded two women yesterday. He said all airstrikes and foreign raids on Afghan homes will have to stop if the United States expects him to sign an agreement allowing thousands of American troops to stay in Afghanistan after next year.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have agreed on a draft agreement, and it was approved by a council of Afghan leaders. But Karzai announced he would not sign the deal, and would leave it instead to his successor after elections in April.
The Obama administration has been trying to persuade Karzai to change his mind and sign the deal by the end of the year, to allow time to prepare for a continuing U.S. presence after the NATO and U.N. mandates for foreign troops in Afghanistan expire at the end of next year.
The U.S.-led coalition said yesterday's airstrike had killed an insurgent on a motorcycle. Afghan officials said a child was also killed, and two women were injured.
APPHOTO KBL101: FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2013 file photo, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who commands the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), speaks during an interview at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. The top U.S. and coalition commander in Afghanistan expressed his deep regrets to Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai over an allied airstrike that killed a child and injured two women, his spokesman said. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid, File) (29 Nov 2013)
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