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Afghan, US, UN launch probe into deadly raid
Kabul, Aug 31 (AP):
Published on 1 Sep. 2008 12:33 AM IST
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The US-led coalition, Afghan government and UN will launch a probe into last week's raid in a western Afghanistan village where some officials say 90 civilians were killed, a top NATO official said. The US-led coalition maintains that 25 militants and five civilians died in their operation August 22 in the village of Azizabad in western Herat province. Evidence from all sides regarding the raid has been scant, with no conclusive photos or video emerging to shed light on what happened in Azizabad. But the claim of 90 civilian deaths by the Afghan government and UN has caused new friction between President Hamid Karzai and his Western supporters. Brig Gen Richard Blanchette, the chief spokesman for the NATO-led force, yesterday said that the Afghan government, US-led coalition and the UN mission have agreed to a joint probe. "We are hoping to have a quick unfolding of this investigation so we can ... basically reconcile these numbers which are way too far apart right now," Blanchette told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It is obviously a case where all three have received different bits of information, and they need to reconcile this," he said. "Obviously, there is somebody that does not have the right information." Dan McNorton, a spokesman for the UN mission in Afghanistan, said details of the investigation were still to be worked out. Afghan government officials were not immediately available for comment.

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