May 29th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

NATO apologizes for Afghan airstrike that it says killed 9 civilians

A coalition commander offered his alliance's "sincere apologies" Sunday for an airstrike that he said killed nine civilians in southern Afghanistan.

Maj. Gen. John Toolan, the head of the International Security Assistance Force's command in southwest Afghanistan, said his apology was being made "on behalf of the coalition" and its top leaders, including U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus. He pleaded with Afghans to not only forgive, but also to work with coalition forces in hopes of bolstering their security.

"I offer our heartfelt apologies to the families and friends of those killed," Toolan said in a statement. "I ask that the Afghan people continue to trust and assist their security forces, so that together we can stop the senseless killing brought upon us by an enemy who wants to exploit the Afghan people through fear and violence."

Earlier, Afghan and NATO officials said that Saturday's attack in Helmand province killed a dozen children and two women. There was no immediate explanation for the disparity between this figure and the toll of nine civilians killed offered Sunday by Toolan, who also noted that a U.S. Marine was killed immediately before the strike.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. ben

    Sometimes things ARE what they seem to be and nothing more.

    May 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    100,000 innocent civilians killed in Iraq, thousands in Afghanistan & Pakistan during the past decade and counting. So what?.Human lives are now the cheapest commodity as long as they are 'others'.
    No apologies necessary.

    May 29, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Very well stated,saywhat. Thank you.

      May 30, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    I agree; sometimes a cigar really IS a cigar.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rivi

    Karzai needs to stop being a hypocrite... Without the Coalition he would not be in office.. and if we leave.. his behind will be the one hiding in the mountains.. Let us do or job so we can GTF out of here...

    May 30, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. nur amabo nur

    @ ben- do you really believe that the UN & NATO are completely separate for the US ? Our troops make up a good portion of both the UN & NATO, we have the loudest voice in everything NATO & the UN do. So do they work together ? Of course they do. If an invading force killed american civilians would that be a terrorist act ? Why the double standard ben ?

    May 30, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. nur amabo nur

    Here's my facts- A coalition commander offered his alliance’s “sincere apologies” Sunday for an air strike that he said killed nine civilians in southern Afghanistan.
    NATO is supposed to be the good guys, right ? I don't believe any civilians especially women and children should be killed by bombs, apparently you disagree.

    May 30, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. MasterVen

    Tea party @ 9am! By the water.....

    May 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ben

    Hmm, usually the UN is a mouth piece for every two bit country that has an ax to grind with the US, such as korea,russia, china,libya,Venezuela,etc. all supported by us tax dollars. If the US had so much pull with the UN then they would have supported us in Afghanistan and Iraq but they didn't even though Saddam killed millions of people and The Afghan Taliban helped al qaeda attack the US. Of course no one wants to see innocent women and children killed in war any more than any one wanted to see innocent women and children killed in terrorist attacks. You've only proven your lack of knowledge about the facts. Learn and think before you post.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ben

    @nur amabo nur, when the Taliban and Al qaeda committed the terrorist attacks on 9/11 they committed and act of war. War is supposed to be bad there's a reason for that, it's so people will try to work out peaceful solutions to their problems. If war were sanitary and only the bad guys died then there wouldn't be any reason for calmer people on both sides to try and negotiate. Yes it's sad NATO and UN bombs killed civilians, it's also sad that 4 airplanes killed civilians it's all part of war though.

    May 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ben

    @saywhat, yeah and a majority of those civilians were killed by terrorist attacks, and many others were al qaeda or taliban soldiers that weren't so innocent. Learn,Think,Post in that order please.

    May 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nur amabo nur

    There is so much wrong in your post it would take forever to educate you so just google the following and learn for yourself. China buying the great lakes- UN owns national parks – free trade zones – texas toll roads owned by spain – obama president of the UN – USA borrows 175 million every hour 24/7.
    Al qaeda was trained by the cia during the cold war against russia, this is a fact. We never learn from our mistakes. We are training people in Iraq, Afghanistan and probably Libya who may be our enemy someday.

    May 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fernace

    @ben, @nur abamo nur, Y'all are both right & basically saying the same thing, but coming from left & right, y'all refuse to meet in the middle! Your verbal battle is a great metaphor for how wars happen!! People try talking first, then sling the insults & then out comes the weapons. It is my belief that humans enjoy the "drama" of conflict. We are intelligent beings, have made it to the 21st century & a new millennium, yet when it comes to solving or preventing conflict we are still in the Stone Age!! Make Love, Not War!

    May 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ben

    @nur abamo nur, Good God get your facts straight. Al qaeda didn't even exist during the cold war. Yes we helped train the mujahadeen during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan but that's a totally different group that no longer exists. They lost control after we left Afghanistan and the Taliban took over. Obama President of the UN? I'm sure that's news to the President of the UN and I will be honest I don't recall who was elected President after Kofi Anon but I know it wasn't Obama-as much as he'd like to be he's not. The UN doesn't own national parks they are allowed to train on national parks by American troops, China buying the Great Lakes? Well that's just ludicrous-in the first place why would they buy it when we own them so much money they could just call our debt. Why would Spain want to own Texas toll roads? We do a small percentage of our trade with Spain, Mexico? Maybe could see why they'd want to. The only thing you managed to get correct was that we're borrowing a sh it load of money. I've heard some one talk about some of this stuff before, believe it was Hal Lindsay, or some other end of the worlder,he was so far off it's pathetic.

    May 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ben

    @fernace, You are quite right unfortunately there's no reasoning with some people. Once they start reading some wild conspiracy theory about this or that it seems to take over their lives and no matter how much someone tries to reason with them they just won't listen. Some people have even lost wives and families because they let conspiracy theories consume their lives. It's like being addicted to a drug.

    May 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ben

    @nur amabo nur, I pose this question again if we control the UN, as you claim, then why didn't the UN join the Coalition when it went into Iraq? Yes Bush used the wrong reason, it was impossible to prove the WMDs were ever there other than the fact that Saddam used them on the kurds, Bush should have made his plea to the UN on the genocide Saddam was guilty of hindsight's 20/20 though. Still then UN knew it was happening and refused to join the US thereby proving we do not own the UN. Now if you want to state that we pay the lion's share of the funding for UN and NATO operations then I'll agree with you and submit that it's time for all the other members to start paying their fair share.

    May 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
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