New claims are emerging in Germany that the country’s troops in Afghanistan ordered an airstrike specifically to kill Taliban fighters, even though they have no authorisation for offensive action.
A Red Cross report into the attack on Kunduz mentioned 74 civilian deaths, including young children. Details of a secret NATO report are finding their way into the press, including claims that Colonel Georg Klein’s intention was not to protect fuel tankers as stated, but to target Taliban personnel. The defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who was not in charge at the time, visited Kunduz yesterday. He has had to back-pedal on comments he made last month, when he said the strike was militarily appropriate. A further leaked report claims the Chancellor’s office ordered tougher action against the Taliban. The German parliament has approved a reconstruction role for its troops in Afghanistan.