Germany’s defence minister is under pressure to quit after being accused of knowing more than he let on about a controversial airstrike in Afghanistan which killed dozens of civilians. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg recently forced two top officials to resign, saying they had withheld crucial information; in turn they claim he saw all available reports.
SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel is concerned about the lack of transparency all round:
“The commission charged with the investigation must check if Herr zu Guttenberg told the truth when he affirmed that the German army leadership did not keep him adequately informed,” he said.
Up to 142 people were either killed or injured in the airstrike on a pair of hijacked tanker trucks near Kunduz in September. Media reports this weekend claim the real target was the Taliban and if true marks an escalation of the German mission into an offensive rather than defensive one. It is this issue which the opposition claims is being fudged by the new defence minister.