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Afghan president calls on NATO-led troops to avoid harming civilians

2010-02-21 08:12 BJT

KABUL, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday called on NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to avoid harming non-combatants while fighting against Taliban militants.

"Although the NATO and the Coalition troops have done a lot to reduce civilian casualties; our objective is to reach the point where there is no civilian casualty," the president said in his speech at the joint session of parliament resumed after winter vocation.

He made this appeal as the ever-biggest operation with the involvement of 15,000 Afghan, NATO and U.S Marines, dubbed" Moshtarak"or"Together"has been going on since last Saturday against Taliban militants in Marja district of the troubled Helmand province in south Afghanistan.

Since launching the operation more than 50 people including 15 civilians have been killed and hundreds of families have left their homes for safer places.

Holding up a picture of eight-year-old girl showing to the lawmakers, Karzai described her only survivor of a 12 member family, killed during the operation against Taliban. He urged the insurgents to give up militancy and contribute to rebuilding peace process of the war-ravaged nation.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed by NATO-led troops especially during air raids against Taliban militants over the past eight years in Afghanistan.


Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua