Merkel's office 'knew about Afghan civilian killings'

Most Germans want Merkel to pull out of Afghanistan invasion and the attack created a wave of negative publicity for her government.

Merkel's office 'knew about Afghan civilian killings'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office knew about civilian killings caused by a 2009 air strike in Afghanistan sooner than it first admitted, a magazine reported, potentially embarrassing her ahead of a crucial vote.

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

Merkel's defence minister at the time, Franz Josef Jung, initially said he was not aware of any civilian casualties and later lost his cabinet post over the attack. The head of the German armed forces was also forced out in the aftermath.

Most Germans want Merkel to pull out of Afghanistan invasion and the attack created a wave of negative publicity for her government.

Voters are expected to respond negatively to the report when they go to the polls on May 9 to elect a new government in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Merkel's centre-right coalition will lose control of the Bundesrat upper house of parliament if it fails to defend its majority in the western state.

Kabul said more than 100 people died in the strike.

Merkel, who may be grilled by the parliamentary probe, did not comment publicly on the attack until three days later, when she firmly rejected international criticism of it.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Mart 2010, 15:55

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