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Karzai sends demands on U.S. troop conduct

Dec. 18, 2008 - 10:56AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 18, 2008 - 10:56AM  |  
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KABUL, Afghanistan Afghanistan's president has sent a list of demands to the U.S. government about troop conduct ahead of the arrival of more U.S. forces next year.

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KABUL, Afghanistan Afghanistan's president has sent a list of demands to the U.S. government about troop conduct ahead of the arrival of more U.S. forces next year.

President Hamid Karzai said in a speech in the capital Thursday that he sent the missive last month calling for all U.S. operations to occur in cooperation with the Afghan government and security forces.

"Part of that list was that they shouldn't, on their own, enter the houses of our people and bombard our villages and detain our people," Karzai said.

Afghanistan's president has repeatedly called for foreign troops to do more to prevent civilian deaths during strikes and raids. He also wants them to show more respect for the country's traditional Muslim culture, in which men can cause great affront by entering a house with women inside.

Karzai did not say if he had received any response from the U.S., and a spokesman for the presidency could not be reached for further details.

U.S. officials were not available for immediate comment.

Karzai spoke the day after the U.N. chief in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, called for international military forces to revise their agreements with the Afghan government to include practices that will better safeguard civilians.

The U.N. said in September that 577 Afghan civilians had been killed this year by U.S., NATO and Afghan troops, a 21 percent jump from 2007. However, the U.N. tally said Taliban fighters and other insurgents had killed even more civilians: at least 800 this year.

Many coalition raids and strikes do occur with Afghan army troops or Afghan police, but not all, and there is not a standardized code of conduct across forces on how to operate in Afghan towns and villages.

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