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Afghan deaths return to haunt Merkel

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Afghan deaths return to haunt Merkel


Reports in Germany have claimed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office knew about the civilian deaths caused by an air-strike in Afghanistan earlier than it first admitted.

A German news magazine says just hours after a German commander ordered the bombing of two oil tankers in 2009, an email was sent to Merkel’s staff informing them of between 50 to 100 civilian casualties.

Former German defence minister Franz-Josef Jung said: “I often ask myself, if the Taliban had achieved an attack like this against us and if we had 60 dead German soldiers, what discussion would we have in this case?”

Jung, who lost his job over the attack, was speaking after appearing at a parliamentary inquiry set up to establish whether there was an attempted official cover-up.

A government spokesman has described the email as an “unconfirmed preliminary report” which does not contradict Merkel’s stance that civilian casualties were never ruled out.

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